Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has called for community pharmacies to be included in the roll out of the Coronavirus vaccine. This comes after reports that high street pharmacies have offered to assist the government with the Oxford/Astrazenca jab, but have been “snubbed” by Ministers.
Community pharmacies offer services in Plymouth to thousands of people each week and already administer the flu jab each year.
Luke Pollard said:
“The vaccine is the only route out of lockdown and that’s why I want a relentless focus from Ministers to expand the roll out of the vaccine.
“I have spoken to community pharmacies in Plymouth who are eager to help in the roll out especially of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Community pharmacists are an army of trained vaccinators who are standing ready to assist in this national effort. These small businesses have volunteered and are now waiting for a response from Ministers. It is good that high street chains will be part of the roll out but local pharmacies who know their communities well should also be enlisted in this national effort too.
“It is vital for people in Plymouth that the vaccine is available in as many places as they can be, as close as they can be to where they live. Our city’s community pharmacies are part of the solution and I am calling on the Government to mobilise them in the national vaccine effort.”
According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society there are over 11,000 community pharmacies. If each of those does 20-a-day that is 1.3 million-a-week extra vaccines that could be provided, very often to those who are hardest to reach. The Government has a target to vaccinate 13million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.