High Street pharmacies are now joining the fight against coronavirus in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire and are being added to the list of venues providing the lifesaving vaccine.
From today, three pharmacies in the region will begin offering the vaccine to those people who are currently eligible.
The pharmacies currently offering the coronavirus vaccine are Shaunaks Pharmacy in Westbury, The Pharmacy in Ludgershall and Avicenna Pharmacy in Swindon.
Due to space constraints, the Pharmacy in Ludgershall will base its vaccine clinic at the nearby Memorial Hall.
These three sites will now appear on the national coronavirus vaccine booking system, along with the large vaccination centres currently located at Bath Racecourse and Salisbury City Hall.
People invited to use the national booking system can choose the venue that is closest to their home or, alternatively, wait for an appointment slot at a clinic run by a GP practice.
The introduction of the pharmacy sites takes the total number of vaccine clinics in the region to 27, which is made up of 19 GP-led venues, two large vaccination centres and three hospital-based hubs.
Ibrahim Kadri, Superintendent Pharmacist at the Pharmacy in Ludgershall, said: “We are excited to be part of the latest stage of the vaccination programme.
“We have been here for our patients throughout these difficult times and will carry on doing whatever we can in order to move forward.”
Angela Mavalla, Lead Pharmacist at Avicenna Pharmacy, said: “Pharmacies are within walking distance of many people’s homes, and I know that some of our local residents, particularly those who are less mobile, will appreciate having a choice of a more local venue for their vaccine.
“I’d urge everyone who is invited to have the vaccine to take up the offer, and I really look forward to seeing many familiar faces come through our doors to receive their vaccine.”
Unlike the flu vaccine, which is available on request from many local pharmacies, the
coronavirus vaccine remains available only to those people who have been contacted by the NHS.
So far, more than 100,000 people across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
As more people become vaccinated, the invite list will be widened, and those people who are aged between 70 and 79, along with the clinically extremely vulnerable, are now being contacted to receive the vaccine.
Any person within these groups who has not yet received an invitation should wait to be contacted, and not worry about being forgotten.
The NHS in the local area is making good progress in vaccinating those people who are currently eligible, and is on track to meet the government’s target of offering the vaccine to every person in top four priority groups by the middle of February.
People are asked to make every effort to attend their appointment and, in situations where this is not possible, to cancel at the earliest opportunity so the slot can be offered to another eligible person.
More information about the rollout of the vaccine in the local area, including a detailed list of commonly asked questions and answers, is available online at www.bswccg.nhs.uk.
Details about the vaccine itself can also be found online, either at www.gov.uk or www.nhs.uk.