Jabs With Kebabs
(Peter Byrne/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

Ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive in community pharmacies needs to be underpinned by a patient friendly national booking system linking seamlessly to existing clinical systems to maxmise the roll out to bigger cohorts, the Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) has said on Wednesday (Feb 3).

“This would allow patients to choose the time and place for vaccination which is flexible and convenient to them and help maximise the use of vaccinators in the accessible network of community pharmacies,” Mark Griffiths, chair of CPW, Mark Griffiths told the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee of the Senedd.

Speaking at an evidence session of the committee, he added that the community pharmacies will be best placed to play a key frontline role in vaccinating as many people as possible from the convenience of high street locations once the vaccination drive reaches the working population of under 65s.

He, however, cautioned that decisions in this regard need to be taken fast.

“Unless Health Boards start planning these things now, and commissioning community pharmacies with urgency and pace, then this transition is a ticking time bomb in the vaccine programme,” he said.

Griffiths has also raised doubts on involving pharmacists in Mass Vaccination Centres (MVC).

“While MVCs are undoubtedly a key part of the of the roll out they are not necessarily the best place for community pharmacists since if a community pharmacy is without a qualified pharmacist it cannot dispense. The last thing anyone would want is that a community pharmacy network that has continued to open and operate for the last ten months is brought to a standstill by diverting community pharmacists to MVCs.”

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