The 2 community pharmacies join the expanding roll-out of the programme – the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.
They join the large scale vaccination centre at Stithians Showground, near Truro, and the 13 GP-led primary care network sites across Cornwall already delivering the vaccine. 200 pharmacies across the country are expected to offer the vaccine by the end of the month.
High street pharmacies offering the vaccine will be capable of delivering large volumes while maintaining social distancing.
Anyone in the priority risk groups who does not want to travel to a pharmacy or to the vaccination centre at Stithians Showground can wait to be called by a GP.
Dr Rob White, primary care networks clinical lead for the COVID-19 vaccination programme and NHS Kernow Governing Body member, said: “It is great news to hear that from today the first of our community pharmacies will join our collective efforts to make sure as many of our most vulnerable are vaccinated as quickly as possible. This has been a real team effort across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“I would like to thank all our pharmacists for their unrelenting efforts to provide support and care to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Their dedication to providing healthcare advice on minor ailments and injuries, prescriptions and medications has, without a doubt, eased the pressures on GPs and emergency care services at this extremely busy time.”
Pharmacist Chris Naidu, from Reeds Surgery, said: “We feel honoured to help make a difference and hope to vaccinate as many people within the priority groups as quickly as possible. We believe that by being able to offer the vaccination at the pharmacy we can help our community feel safer and life a little bit more normal, which will ultimately benefit everyone’s mental health.”
Sarbjit Singh, from Roche Pharmacy, added: “We look forward to welcoming our first patients for vaccination today and we encourage anyone who has received a letter to book an appointment for their vaccine to do so.”
The process by which people are invited to book an appointment is the same as for the vaccination centre – through the national booking service.
The booking service will give you a choice between a vaccination centre or a pharmacy service. You can choose the site which is most convenient and accessible to you. Alternatively you can wait to be contacted by your GP.
You cannot book an appointment through the booking service unless you have received an invitation letter.
You will be unable to get a vaccine at the vaccination centre or community pharmacy without an appointment. Please support the vaccination roll-out by not contacting NHS services requesting a vaccine, or turning up without an appointment.