Over 120,000 people sign our petition calling for pharmacy network to deliver the Covid vaccine

THIS should be the week when Parliament prepares to debate a petition spearheaded by The Free Press calling for pharmacies to be at the vanguard of the country’s vaccines strategy after the number of signatories surpassed the threshold of 100,000 people.

Monday, 25th January 2021, 7:31 am
Shot in the Arm campaign

Yet, despite the clear public interest, there’s little likelihood, at present, of the ‘shot in the arm’ campaign being led by this paper and its JPI Media sister titles being considered by MPs as the number of supporters tops 120,000.

That is because it was ruled out of order when it was first posted on Parliament’s website, ostensibly because it aligns too closely with existing Government policy, and this company has, instead, had to use the Change.org platform to ascertain the level of support.

However it is not too late to remedy this if sufficient backbench MPs, and preferably from both major parties, are willing to use the means at their disposal to instigate a debate. No one under-estimates the scale of the logistical operation now underway that has already seen more than five million people receive at least one Covid jab.

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And while Health Secretary Matt Hancock says, reassuringly, that three-quarters of all over-80s have now received at least one jab, he, himself, readily admits that some people are proving harder to reach than others because of factors like geography, fear and mistrust.

This is where the 11,000-plus community pharmacies come into their own. Trusted by their patients, their experience and expertise now needs to be utilised to enhance the effectiveness of the current strategy and, in particular, target the forgotten vulnerable.

Click here to sign the petition.