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Boots to begin private Covid-19 vaccination from April 1

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Anyone aged 12 or over can get the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at 50 Boots stores for £98.95

For the first time, Covid-19 vaccines will be available for purchase from pharmacies in Britain from April 1.

As revealed by The Times, Boots is set to launch a private vaccination service next week to ensure that people “remain ready to respond to this constantly evolving and unpredictable virus.”

Under the NHS national immunization programme (NIP), Covid booster vaccines are only offered to those at high risk, including over-65s or patients with weakened immune systems.

From April 1, anyone aged 12 or over can get the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at 50 Boots stores for £98.95.

While it’s highly unlikely for healthier young adults to experience severe Covid-19, getting the single-dose vaccine can protect them from discomforting symptoms like coughs and sore throats.

A spokesperson for Boots told the publication that their private service is the extension of their existing delivery of Covid-19 vaccinations for the NHS.

“We are pleased we can now offer Covid-19 vaccinations both on behalf of the NHS and privately, as we have done with flu vaccinations for many years,” the spokesperson  said.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in February approved a change to the licence of the Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 30 micrograms/dose vaccine, allowing the thawing and re-labelling of the vaccine outside of the NHS.

During that period, Pfizer also confirmed that the vaccine would be accessible through community pharmacies and private healthcare providers in the UK starting March 2024.

A representative from Pfizer told Pharmaceutical Journal that the decision was made “in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and demand for the vaccine”.

Dr Gillian Ellsbury, primary care medical director at Pfizer UK, emphasised the persistent threat posed by Covid-19, and underscored the need to ensure “we remain ready to respond to this constantly evolving and unpredictable virus.”

Moderna was the other key supplier who announced the plan to sell Covid-19 vaccines at pharmacies and private clinics last month.

Further, reports indicate that Superdrug is in discussions with suppliers for offering the private Covid vaccination service.

 

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