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Moderna: DH ‘needs to consider’ childhood jab service in pharmacies

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Moderna: DH ‘needs to consider’ childhood jab service in pharmacies

The question of whether pharmacies should offer routine childhood vaccinations and other immunisation drives through community pharmacies “needs to be looked at,” vaccine manufacturer Moderna has said.

Addressing a parliamentary health select committee hearing on disease prevention on Tuesday April 18, Moderna policy affairs director Stuart Carroll said: “Pharmacists need to play a critical role in delivery of vaccines. 

“Of course, we have pharmacist delivery in significant numbers of vaccines already, which is great. It is a case of looking at how we can potentially expand that and increase flexibility and agility.” 

Asked by Labour MP Taiwo Owatemi whether “there is a benefit” in making childhood vaccinations available from pharmacies, given the difficulties many face in securing a GP appointment, Mr Carroll replied: “It needs to be looked at... we need to have a delivery model which utilises the best of all healthcare professionals.

“Pharmacy is distinctly placed to do that because it is at the forefront of dealing with the public and patients, day in, day out.”

'Amazon style' cancer vaccines

Speculating about the possibility of anti-cancer vaccinations being available in the near future, Mr Carroll said: “As we look at the types of innovation and types of product coming forward, we are beginning to move towards a more personalised healthcare model.

“Hopefully, in the next couple of years, we will be able to bring forward personalised cancer vaccines and other types of therapies. In order to do that the MHRA, as our regulator, which is world-leading and has some fantastic capabilities, will need to work through with the industry how we regulate a product that is specific to an individual.”

He said the NHS needs to prepare itself “to deliver that type of healthcare product,” explaining: “We need to be in a position where we could do the diagnostic quickly in the healthcare setting—the biopsy; the pathology—and send it to the manufacturer who can then sequence the genetic code of that virus, that cancer or that disease, and then the manufacturer can quickly, almost Amazon style, in real time, with safety first always in mind of course, return it to the physician so that it can be administered to the patient.”

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