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GPhC to prioritise requests for temporary pharmacies for COVID vaccine

Pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination sites need to be temporarily registered with the GPhC

Applications to register temporary pharmacy premises from which COVID-19 vaccines will be administered are likely to be prioritised by the GPhC, the regulator has said.

The regulator is also planning to ensure that “the process is as streamlined and proportionate as possible”, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said in a COVID-19 vaccination programme guidance published last week (December 9).

Pharmacy contractors who are considering setting up a temporary pharmacy for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines will have to obtain “temporary registration” for that site.

The premises will need to be temporarily registered with the GPhC if the vaccine that will be administered from them “will require final preparation and/or assembly on site before administration – such as the Pfizer vaccine – and/or if you are administering the vaccine under a patient group direction ”, according to the GPhC guidance.

Contractors wishing to apply for temporary registration should email [email protected].

Same GPhC standards apply

Contractors delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme from these designated pharmacy-led sites should be aware that the service they provide at this site “is open to being inspected by the GPhC just as if it were taking place at a registered pharmacy”, the regulator added.

The pharmacy-led sites that are not a registered pharmacy but receive temporary registration must still comply with the standards for registered pharmacies. “This includes the standards relating to governance, risk management, equipment and facilities,” according to the guidance.

The responsible pharmacist at the registered pharmacy will act as such for the pharmacy-led site. “The on-site pharmacist(s) who are delivering the service will need to be linked in with the responsible pharmacist at the host pharmacy, as well as the superintendent pharmacist and the pharmacy owner, via an appropriate governance framework”.

The GPhC added that any pharmacy team member involved in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme will need to complete “relevant training for their role”.

Pharmacy professionals who will contribute to the vaccination programme from other sites, such as primary care network-led locations, should also ensure they undertake the relevant training they need and that they comply with the standards for pharmacy professionals, the GPhC said.

Only a “limited number” of pharmacies in England will be selected to start administering the vaccine from “late December or early January”, while some health boards in Scotland could commission community pharmacies to help with local vaccination programmes.

Rowlands told C+D last week (December 10) that its pharmacies will not be involved in vaccinating patients with the recently-approved Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

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