Community pharmacy-led Covid-19 vaccination sites will begin operations on Monday January 11, NHS England & Improvement has confirmed.
In a December 28 letter to those pharmacies whose applications to take part in the programme have been successful, NHSE&I told contractors: “We are writing to confirm that your local vaccination service (LVS) designated site should be stood up in the week beginning January 4 2021 in order to be ready to administer vaccines following a delivery of the vaccine from January 11 2021.”
The letter goes on to say that by Thursday January 7 pharmacies will be told whether their site is ready and, if so, will be given a specific vaccine delivery date.
When approached by Pharmacy Network News, NHSE&I declined to say how many pharmacies have been approved as vaccination sites. NHSE&I said in late November that only a "limited number" would be approved due to the need to vaccinate large numbers of patients and the storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine.
It is also unclear whether pharmacy-led sites will administer the more recently approved Oxford vaccine in addition to the Pfizer vaccine, which has been in use since December 8.
Eligible pharmacies were told they must read the SOP for Covid-19 vaccine deployment in community settings and sign the local enhanced service (LES) agreement by 23:59 tonight (Monday January 4).
Covid-19 vacination activity undertaken in pharmacies in line with the LES will be covered by state indemnity under the terms of the clinical negligence scheme for coronavirus, NHSE&I clarified.
Pharmacies are advised to report any adverse event to the patient’s GP and the MHRA.
The letter said pharmacies should agree “reasonable set up costs” with their regional NHSE&I team and that these costs could be claimed back, though they will be “subject to value for money costs”.