// Superdrug to support the NHS with the Covid-19 vaccination rollout
// Initially five key Superdrug locations, situated in the north and south of England, will deliver the vaccination service
// The government also accused of ignoring an “army” of small pharmacies in the delivery of the vaccine
Superdrug has become the latest retailer to use its stores as vaccination hubs to support the NHS with the rollout of the Covid vaccine.
Initially five key Superdrug locations, situated in the north and south of England, will deliver the vaccination service.
Other retailers that have offered their premises to help support the rollout of the vaccine include Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Bensons for Beds and Superdrug’s rival Boots.
- Morrisons offers vaccine drive-through in 50 of its car parks
- Tesco and Boots to help distribute Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
Superdrug said it was in discussions with the NHS regarding their nurses and pharmacists administering both of the approved Covid-19 vaccines.
As this is not a private service, patients will be contacted by the NHS when they are eligible for their vaccination.
“We are the only high street retailer with a team of highly qualified nurses who, together with our pharmacists, have decades of experience of delivering mass vaccination services,” Superdrug healthcare director Michael Henry said.
“Over the last nine months we have been working closely with the NHS to support its Covid 19 efforts.
“This has included our nurses volunteering in hospitals, the wider community and blood transfusion centres.
“We are now supporting the rollout of its critical vaccination programme to help people most at risk from coronavirus.”
The news comes after the government was accused of ignoring an “army” of small pharmacies in the delivery of the vaccine.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Sandra Gidley said there were thousands of high street pharmacies who were “ready, willing and able” to assist in the rollout of the programme.
Gidley said that under the government plans some larger pharmacies were involved, but they had to be able to guarantee they could deliver at least 950 doses per day.
While that was necessary for the Pfizer vaccine – which is more complicated to handle – she said the arrival of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab meant it could be administered by much smaller units.
“We are already used to delivering the flu vaccine. You have got an army of trained vaccinators who are ready, willing and able to play and part,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“With the AstraZeneca vaccine there is no reason why that could not be delivered through community pharmacies.
“There are over 11,000 pharmacies. If each of those does 20-a-day that is 1.3 million-a-week extra vaccines that can be provided, very often to those who are hardest to reach.
“Why would any government not want to do that?”
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said community pharmacies would be brought into the programme as the number of jabs being delivered increased from next week.
“We will make sure that community pharmacies and the independent sector are involved and that we deliver what I think is a credible plan that the NHS has put together to hit that target of 13 million vaccinations… by mid-February,” he told Today.
with PA Wires