Community pharmacy hits milestone of 40m Covid-19 vaccines at the end of 2023

Community pharmacy surpassed the milestone of administering 40m Covid-19 vaccinations by the end of 2023. The news comes in the wake of NHS England’s recent decision1 to extend the national enhanced service for the Covid-19 vaccination programme until 31st August 2024 and confirmation of eligibility2,3 for the spring Covid-19 booster programme.

CCA analysis of Freedom of Information (FoI) data from NHS England shows that:

  • Community pharmacies had administered 40,045,279 Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2023.
  • Overall, the sector has delivered a quarter (24.85%) of all Covid-19 vaccines to date.
  • In the month of December 2023, 62% of all Covid-19 vaccines were administered in community pharmacies.

Figure 1 – Community pharmacy’s role in the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccination programme

The data reaffirms the ever-growing role pharmacy is playing in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, especially given the programme was initially designed to be delivered primarily in hospitals and mass vaccination centres.

The CCA is urging policymakers to ensure that the programme is designed with the needs of pharmacy businesses in mind, such as integrating the National Booking System into existing pharmacy systems, reviewing the fee in light on the continued increased cost of business, and simplifying the site designation process.

Recent news stories have demonstrated the importance of having several access routes to vaccination. Given community pharmacy’s success in the delivery of the Covid-19 and flu programmes, now is the time to explore a bigger role for community pharmacy in vaccines.

The CCA’s modelling4 shows that pharmacies could administer a further 10m vaccination appointments per year. In time, the CCA believes that community pharmacy can be the natural home for all vaccinations – increasing patient access and enhancing vaccine coverage rates”.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said: “Administering over 40m Covid-19 vaccines, a quarter of all vaccines to date, is a truly fantastic achievement by the sector. This is despite community pharmacy initially not being considered a major part of the programme.

This is further evidence of the track record pharmacies have in administering national vaccination programmes.

Community pharmacy is well versed in driving uptake rates and building confidence in vaccinations.

It’s clear that community pharmacy can, in time, become the natural home for all vaccinations. Now is the time for policymakers to explore this enhanced role and build on the recently published NHS Vaccination Strategy.


1 – NHS England, Community Pharmacy Enhanced Service COVID-19 vaccination programme: 1 September 2023 to 31 August 2024, updated in January 2024

2 – UK Health Security Agency, JCVI advises on eligible groups for 2024 spring COVID-19 vaccine, 7 February 2024

3 – Department of Health and Social Care, Minister Caulfield statement on COVID-19 spring vaccine programme, 7 February 2024

4 – CCA, CCA prospectus – A future for community pharmacy, February 2023.

Notes to editors

  • The CCA analysed Freedom of Information (FoI) data obtained via NHS England.
  • For the months of September to December 2023, provision of the Covid-19 vaccination in all settings is shown in Table 1 (see below).
    • By December 2023, community pharmacy had delivered 40,045,279 Covid-19 vaccines.
    • During the month of December, the total amount of Covid-19 vaccinations administered was 313,560. Of these, community pharmacy delivered 195,873 Covid-19 vaccines. This equates to 62.47% of the vaccines in that month.

Table 1 – Provision of the Covid-19 vaccination in all settings between September and December 2023.

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