Commenting on the launch of the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, said: “We are delighted that the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is now underway. This is a major step forward on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
“We expect that a few pharmacy teams will be directly involved in the initial phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Some member companies are engaging with the NHS, nationally and regionally, to see how they can help.
“We urge the Government to consider using community pharmacies as a much bigger part of the programme in 2021, especially as other, easier-to-handle, vaccines become available.
“We want to work with the NHS to ensure that practicalities like staffing, the number of vaccines to be delivered to different groups and the best locations to maximise coverage and accessibility are considered. This will help reach more of the key target groups across England, Scotland and Wales.”
CCA member companies operate around half of the UK’s pharmacies. They are already making a major contribution to the annual flu vaccination programme and have extensive experience in providing large-scale professional services in easily accessible locations.
Malcolm continued: “Community pharmacies have worked incredibly hard during the pandemic to maintain vital services to patients. The speed in which pharmacies stepped up to meet the enormous demand for flu vaccinations this winter, delivering as many in the first six weeks as they did in five months of the previous season, shows the role that they can play.
“Pharmacies stand ready to deliver their part in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, building on this experience and using the skills of our highly trained pharmacy teams. CCA members will continue to work with the NHS, sector partners and other relevant bodies to explore the scope to achieve this at scale and at pace.”