LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: "Freedom march" protesters against vaccines, vaccine passports, lockdowns march near Victoria Station on December 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has reported an increase in the number of pharmacists calling its advice line to inform about the incidences of violence and intimidation from protesters opposing the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The association noted that such incidents have become more common with protesters “gaining entry to premises in groups and trying to disrupt Covid-19 vaccinations from taking place.”

In many cases, pharmacists, staff, and members of the public have been subjected to verbal threats, causing distress and anxiety among those working to deliver the vaccination programme in a safe environment.

The PDA reminded that employers, having a contract with the NHS for the Covid-19 vaccinations, have a duty to keep their staff safe whilst at work.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) standards for pharmacy premises also carry a duty to ensure the safety of staff and the public receiving services on those premises.

The PDA stated that employers should regularly conduct risk assessments and have the appropriate measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and the public

It suggested pharmacists, who have been subjected to any acts of violence or abuse in the workplace, to contact the PDA for guidance and support.

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