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NHS calls for more pharmacy-led COVID vax sites in 'priority' areas

NHS England has asked pharmacies in several “priority locations” to register their interest in joining the COVID-19 vaccination service by this Sunday, April 18.

Contractors interested in joining the service, who have not yet submitted an “expression of interest”, are invited to do so before midnight on Sunday, April 18, according to letters from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) regional teams.

NHSE&I is targeting specific areas – including several postcodes in north-west London, West Yorkshire and Harrogate, and Cheshire and Merseyside – with the aim of increasing vaccination coverage.

In February, NHSE&I lowered the service requirements that mandated that pharmacy-led sites had to commit to administering 1,000 vaccinations a week.

C+D has asked the national commissioner how many pharmacy-led sites have registered their interest in providing the COVID-19 vaccination service since this second call.

The latest list of “priority locations” includes a “preferred volume” of vaccinations administered per week for each postcode.

As of today, there are 325 pharmacy-led COVID vaccination sites across England.

Moderna vaccine rollout

The latest call from NHSE&I comes with the news that the Moderna vaccine has been added to the COVID-19 vaccination service in England. It was rolled out to 20 COVID vaccination sites across the country on Tuesday (April 13).

Along with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, it will be used by the NHS for some of the appointments rearranged for under 30s who were due to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, the national commissioner explained.

Moderna can be stored for 30 days at normal fridge temperatures but should it need to be stored for longer, it can last for six months at -20⁰C, it added.

Are you or your pharmacy involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme? Let C+D know and share your experiences with fellow pharmacists and staff on the C+D Community. Register for free, or access the site via LinkedIn.

Will your pharmacy express an interest in becoming a COVID-19 vaccination site?

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