Pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination sites will be able to celebrate having given 1 million doses of the vaccine in the North West this weekend, just five months after opening their doors.
The news comes as it emerges that 40% of the adult population in the North West have had their first and second doses of the vaccine and are fully protected against COVID-19, while 2 in 3 adults have had their first doses.
Andrew’s Pharmacy in Macclesfield and Appleton Pharmacy in Widnes were among the very first in the country to start administering the jabs on 7 January 2021.
On the one million milestone, Martin Stratton, Director and pharmacist at Appleton Pharmacy, said, “We were extremely proud to be chosen to be one of the first pharmacy sites to go live in January as part of the national Covid vaccination programme. In the past five months, we have vaccinated nearly 40,000 patients. This has required a dedicated team, including pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals. We have also had an excellent team of support staff, receptionists, marshals and volunteers.
Pharmacy has always been a very accessible part of the NHS and we have shown that we can deliver as frontline healthcare providers.”
Regional Director of Commissioning (North West), Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, said: “It is quite remarkable that since early January, almost five months ago to the day, community pharmacies have given one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the North West.
Community pharmacy has been one of the shining lights of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and each one has worked incredibly hard in that time, in many cases moving out of their familiar surroundings into basketball courts, universities, religious settings, and community halls to offer a service in safe spaces for us all. Some have completely refitted their premises to be able to help with the national efforts to control COVID-19, something that with each passing week we feel closer to achieving, bringing us closer to each other again.
I’d like to personally thank each and every pharmacist and volunteer who has worked at these sites.”
Work is continuing to expand the number of pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine and 27 new pharmacy-led vaccination centres have opened across the North West over the past month, with further sites planned.
People aged 30 and over, health and care workers, unpaid carers and those with underlying health conditions are invited to book their COVID-19 jab as the national vaccine programme, the biggest and fastest in NHS history, continues at pace, with further cohorts expected in the coming weeks.
People who have received a letter or text inviting them to book their vaccine can log on to the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination and choose from a range of vaccination services across the North West.
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
The following pharmacy-led vaccination services have opened in the North West over the past month:
- Superdrug, Huyton
- Hazel Grove Civic Hall
- Medichem Pharmacy, Woodley
- Superdrug, Runcorn
- St Faith’s Church, Waterloo
- Mary Davey Chemists, Partington
- The 1881 Hall, Urmston
- Superdrug, Southport
- Barkerhouse Pharmacy, Nelson
- Taylor’s Pharmacy, Nelson
- Smarts Chemist, Bootle
- Formby Vaccination Centre
- Boots, Stockport
- Vicars Cross United Reform Church, Chester
- Tesco Extra, Crewe
- Linacre Methodist Mission, Bootle
- Boots, Wilmslow
- West Bradford Village Hall
- Ivy Street Community Centre, Blackburn
- Sy James and Emmanuel Church, Manchester
- Northwich Vaccination Centre
- Brookdale Club and Theatre, Bramhall
- St Marks Pharmacy, Southport
- Nantwich Masonic Lodge
- Remedia Solutions, Halton