A small shopping basket filled with vials labeled "COVID-19 - Coronavirus Vaccine" and medical sryinges are placed on a AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken November 29, 2020. Picture taken November 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

Amid reports of the first sites being identified as centres for national rollout of the Astra Zeneca Covid-19 jabs, Dr Nikki Kanani, director for Primary Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement has confirmed on social media that the latest coronavirus vaccination programme would be scaled up in community pharmacies from next week.

Replying to a tweet from pharmacist Graham Phillips as to when the NHS was planning to roll out the Oxford vaccine via community pharmacy, she said: “From next week, in comm(unity) pharm(acy), scaling up as per other LVS sites.”

Dr Kanani also added a link to a document that gave further details on how community pharmacy would be offering the coronavirus vaccination programme as a local enhanced service (LES).

The document prepared before MHRA’s approval of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine for Covid-19 states that one of the aims of this service is to maximise uptake of Covid-19 vaccine in identified at risk groups by using community pharmacy to supplement service provision by general practice Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in local vaccination services (LVS) or through larger vaccination centres where a need is identified by regional commissioners.

It noted that patients who have booked appointments with the National Booking Service (NBS) will have eligibility confirmed prior to booking. Pharmacy Contractors must only administer vaccinations to patients who have been offered a vaccination through the national call/recall service.

NHS England said it has already written to some community pharmacy contractors to prepare rolling out the vaccination programme as part of the Local Enhanced Service for community pharmacy.

The letter dated Dec 28 stated: “We are writing to confirm that your LVS designated site should be stood up in the week beginning January 4 2021 in order to be ready to administer vaccines following a delivery of the vaccine from January 11 2021.”

“Community pharmacies are already a key part of rolling out the vaccination through existing sites and pharmacy led sites will begin vaccinating in the coming days and weeks,” NHS England told Pharmacy Business on Monday.

Vaccines offered under this service must be received, stored, and prepared in line with any conditions set by the MHRA in relation to each vaccine, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s, Health Education England’s and NHS England and NHS Improvement’s
instructions and associated Standard Operating Procedures.

Receipt, storage and preparation of vaccines used under this service should also be undertaken with appropriate clinical oversight and with regard to governance arrangements in place for the service.

Contractors must agree with the Commissioner as part of the site Designation
Process the number of vaccinations they can deliver each week.

A minimum of 1,000 vaccinations each week is required as set out in the original Site Designation documents.

Pharmacy contractors may be required to offer this service for seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm, including on bank holidays, as agreed as part of becoming a Designated Site.

A payment £25.16 will be made for two service payments of £12.58 each and is intended to reflect the two vaccinations per patient which make up the course of the treatment.

Claims for payments for this service should be made each month via the Manage
Your Service (MYS) platform provided by the NHS Business Services Authority.

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