Doncaster mayor backs call for more community pharmacies to be given vaccine to speed up roll-out

The borough’s mayor has joined a growing call to allow community pharmacies to administer the Covid-19 vaccine in efforts to aid the roll-out.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 15th January 2021, 4:46 pm

The Government has said it aims to expand the use of pharmacies, but so far just over 200 of the largest brands such as Boots are engaged in the vaccine programme at this time.

Mayor Ros Jones has urged Government to quickly escalate this to more community hubs so vulnerable people are not having to travel as far in order to get the jab.

Along with Doncaster Royal Infirmary, the borough has five vaccine centres at leisure centres in Adwick, Mexborough, Thorne and the Keepmoat Stadium and Rutland House.

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Ros Jones is Doncaster's directly-elected mayor

The call has also grown louder across northern England after recent snow falls disrupted people’s ability to get to vaccine centres for their allotted slot.

Campaigners have said that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to administer in more community pharmacies because it can be stored in a fridge unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech jab which needs to be stored at -70c.

Dr David Crichton, who heads up Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said at a recent health board meeting that pharmacies are contracted directly from NHS England and there are ‘ongoing discussions’ about how this evolves over time.

Mayor Jones said: “Doncaster is doing everything we can to deliver this vaccination quickly.

“But I want to see every pharmacy on every high street and in every town and village playing a part.

“This is a race against time. We cannot ignore the important job our local pharmacies could do to help beat this virus.

“We need the green light from the Government. Let’s vaccinate Doncaster.”

Nationally, over one million people (34 per cent) aged 80 and over in England have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of 10 January, new surveillance data from Public Health England shows.

A further 960,699 (1.7 per cent) people under 80 have also had the first dose of the vaccine.

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