Two months after launching its first site in January, McKesson UK, the parent company of LloydsPharmacy, has started offering Covid-19 jabs in two more pharmacist-led sites as NHS England revised its vaccination criteria.

Covid-19 vaccinations began on Monday (March 22) with pharmacists at the multiple’s Carterton and Cramlington branches aiming to administer a minimum of 400 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine per week to eligible patients in the local area.

LloydsPharmacy believes increasing the number of community pharmacies involved in vaccination programme will help improve ease of access and reduce the distance some people will need to travel, enabling those that are most vulnerable to get the vaccine quickly and conveniently.

Anna Ruthven, head of services at McKesson UK, said: “Throughout this pandemic pharmacy teams have demonstrated what an asset they are to the healthcare system in this country. Our LloydsPharmacy colleagues, like so many others, have been ready and willing to support this monumental programme from the start so today marks a real milestone for everyone involved.

“It has been a massive team effort to mobilise these new sites in a very short space of time, but we’re all so proud to be helping local communities get this important vaccine. Community is at the heart of what we do, and we hope that delivering the vaccine within a local and trusted healthcare setting will help even more people come forward to get the jab when they are asked to.”

The Covid-19 vaccines will be administered by appointment only to priority group patients in a consultation room at Carterton and a special pod at Cramlington.

Appointments are made via the NHS booking system with both sites already fully booked for the first two weeks.

Karen Bailey, site manager at LloydsPharmacy Carterton, commented: “Our pharmacy is embedded in the local community and having a familiar face to administer the vaccine will make a big difference to patients who are perhaps nervous about travelling to larger vaccination sites that they’ve not been to before.

“It’s been a busy couple of weeks getting the pharmacy ready for the launch but the whole team is excited to be one of the first LloydsPharmacy teams involved. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and we’re so proud to be helping protect people from this virus so we can all get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we miss the most.”

McKesson UK’s first Covid-19 vaccination was launched in London at John Bell & Croyden on January 30. The site has administered 6,875 vaccines so far.

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