Community pharmacies are going to take a more prominent role in the local vaccine rollout with changes being made to the list of vaccination sites across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.
These new sites are expected to start providing the vaccine to those who are eligible over the next few weeks, with pharmacies in Bath, Corsham and Combe Down expected to begin before the bank holiday weekend.
Other pharmacies in areas such as Keynsham, near Bristol, and Lyneham, in the north of Wiltshire, will follow suit across the end of this month and the beginning of next.
The new sites will be added to the region’s list of vaccine clinic locations ahead of a number of GP-led vaccination sites standing down from the programme.
This planned move will see some sites not participate in the second phase of the vaccination programme, which involves providing the vaccine to people aged between 18 and 39, who are least likely to be seriously affected by coronavirus.
People aged 30 and above are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and can arrange an appointment through the national booking system, which is available over the phone or online.
Dr Andrew Girdher, Clinical Chair, said: “Locally, we have had great success in vaccinating those in our community who are most vulnerable to Covid-19, and we are now seeing the benefit of this with fewer cases being recorded, fewer deaths and fewer hospital admissions.
“As we begin the process of vaccinating younger people, it feels like now is the right time to review our current list of sites, and doing so in this way ensures vaccine provision is protected for those yet to be vaccinated, while also allowing some practices to revert their focus back fully to providing much-needed everyday care.
“As this is still an incredibly busy time within healthcare, people can support their local practice by thinking about whether their concern requires the attention of a GP, or whether self-care, a visit to a local pharmacist, or a combination of the two would be more appropriate.”
Most vaccination sites in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire are now listed on the national booking system, meaning people can arrange an appointment at the venue closest to their home or place of work.
The new pharmacy sites will be added as soon as their start date is confirmed
However, appointment slots at some sites, such as the Steam Museum in Swindon, have been in high demand and people are encouraged to check again if their preferred location is not listed on their first time of trying.
More information about the local vaccination rollout can be found online at http://www.bswccg.nhs.uk, while information about the vaccine itself is available online at either http://www.gov.uk or http://www.nhs.uk.
The vaccine sites not taking part in the second phase of the vaccination programme are:
- The Pavilion, Bath
- Batheaston Medical Centre
- Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton
- West View Surgery, Keynsham
- Malmesbury Primary Care Centre
- Northlands Surgery, Calne
- Salisbury Cathedral
- Salisbury Plain Health Centre
- Michael Herbert Hall, Wilton