// High street pharmacies are to begin rolling out Covid vaccines from today
// 6 local pharmacies have so far been chosen, and by the end of the month this figure will grow to 200
// Labour leader Keir Starmer urged MPs to go further and use England’s 11,500 pharmacies by the end of February
High street pharmacies are to begin rolling out Covid vaccines, as the virus’ death toll across the UK climbed above 100,000.
Boots and Superdrug branches will be among the six stores across England which will be able to administer the jabs from today while the UK Government aims to hit its target of vaccinating all people in the four most vulnerable groups by the middle of next month.
Andrews Pharmacy in Macclesfield, Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, north London, Woodside Pharmacy in Telford, and Appleton Village pharmacy in Widnes will be in the first group to hand out the injections, alongside Boots in Halifax, and Superdrug in Guildford.
Those who are eligible for a vaccine will be contacted and invited to make an appointment through a new national booking service.
This gives them the option of having a vaccine at a pharmacy or in a GP-led vaccination centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that distribution “will be going to 24/7 as soon as we can” but said supply of doses remains the main barrier.
The Scottish Government published its own vaccine delivery plan on Wednesday evening, including details of how many doses it expects to receive for each week until the end of May.
The six pharmacies have been picked because they can deliver large volumes of the vaccine and allow for social distancing.
By the end of the month, it’s expected that more than 200 high street pharmacies with capacity for 1000 doses a week will be able to give vaccines, according to NHS England.
The pharmacies join the 200 hospitals, around 800 GP clinics and seven mass vaccination centres where jabs are already being handed out.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged ministers to go further and use England’s 11,500 pharmacies to deliver round-the-clock vaccinations by the end of next month.
The expanded vaccination service in England comes as the daily reported UK death toll reached a new high on Wednesday, with 1564 fatalities recorded within 28 days of a positive test.
The latest figures meant the grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths involving Covid has now been passed in the UK, according to official data.
The PM also warned that hospital intensive care units face being overwhelmed unless infection rates were brought under control, with the latest official figures showing more than 36,000 people are in hospital with coronavirus, including almost 3500 on ventilation.
with PA Wires