C+D launched the petition last week (January 6), asking NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to scrap the requirement for pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations to be able to administer 1,000 jabs per week under the local enhanced service (LES).
Currently, only a "limited number" of pharmacies have been approved to offer the vaccines because the majority of pharmacies do not meet the requirements set out in the LES. The number and location of the approved sites are still being finalised.
Pharmacies have shared their frustrations at not being able to offer COVID-19 vaccines with C+D, with one contractor pointing out that teams are "ready, willing and able" to help the government reach its target of vaccinating two million people a week.
Although community pharmacy is projected to take on a bigger role in COVID-19 vaccinations in the future, there is still no sign of a nationally-commissioned service akin to the pharmacy flu vaccination service.
C+D's petition, which is being supported by independent support group Numark and at the time of publication has received 3,174 signatures, aims to remove the barriers in the service's LES to take the sector one step closer to a national COVID-19 vaccination service.
200 pharmacy-led vax sites
Community pharmacies will play a bigger role in the government’s vaccination campaign in the future to “persuade people…who are less certain that they want the vaccine to get the vaccine” and simplify access to it for those who “find it difficult to travel”, Mr Hancock said.
An expansion of vaccination sites to ensure that 96% of people will be within a 10-mile distance will "include community pharmacy and roving vaccination centres on top of the hospitals, GP practices and the seven mass vaccination centres that we have opened,” Mr Hancock added.
Sign C+D’s petition urging NHSE&I to let more pharmacy teams across England pitch in with national COVID-19 vaccination efforts here