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Pharmacies in England delivered 40m Covid vaccines by end of last year

NHS & health news

Pharmacies in England delivered 40m Covid vaccines by end of last year

Community pharmacies in England had collectively administered over 40 million Covid vaccines by the end of last year – three years after the first vaccination was delivered in a pharmacy, according to NHS England.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Company Chemists' Association to NHSE revealed pharmacies administered 40,045,279 Covid vaccines by the end of 2023 while the pharmacy sector has so far delivered a quarter of all Covid vaccines.

The data also revealed 62 per cent of jabs were administered in community pharmacies in December alone.

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

However, the CCA said it wanted the Covid vaccination programme, which the government recently extended until August 31, to be “designed” to make it easier for pharmacies to provide the service, including integrating the national booking system into pharmacy systems.

The CCA also called for the fee pharmacies receive to be reviewed “in light on the continued increased cost of business” as well as “simplifying the site designation process.” Pharmacy owners have been paid £7.54 for each vaccine administered as part of the autumn 2023-24 booster programme.

The CCA said its “modelling” showed pharmacies could administer another 10 million vaccinations each year and “in time” could become “the natural home for all vaccinations.”

Its chief executive Malcolm Harrison said: “Administering over 40 million 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.”

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