Pharmacies in Wales have started to administer Covid-19 vaccines with a pilot starting in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board on Friday (Jan 15).
Fferyllfa Llŷn Cyf in Llanbedrog, North Wales is the first in the country to offer the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from a pharmacy setting.
For the time-being, Welsh pharmacy sites are being piloted similar to how care homes were in the initial stages to establish the quickest, safest way to deliver vaccinations in these specific settings.
Local community pharmacies across the country are yet begin offering Covid-19 jabs as many of them may have on their mission to start their Covid-19 vaccination service.
Wales’s healthcare workforce are ‘coming together as one’ to ensure Wales’ Covid-19 vaccination programme rolls out as quickly as is safe to do, the Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said commenting on the launch of historic vaccination drive against the virus.
Gething said: “A mix of vaccination sites and centres have been selected to ensure everyone across the country has equal access to a vaccination. People can be expected to be asked to attend either a mass or community centre, hospital, GP practice, pharmacy or mobile unit.
“Just because there isn’t a type of service near to you, this does not mean any less is happening.
“Safety is of course at the fore of all that our Health Boards and staff do, but we have also worked to ensure our vaccination locations meet the needs of the characteristics of the vaccines and are as conveniently located as possible for the community it will serve.”
Appreciating the efforts taken by the community pharmacies for a mass Covid-19 vaccination drive, Gething added: “I cannot stress enough; your local health care workforce are doing absolutely everything they can, and to them I am immensely thankful.”
The minister further adviced the public on vaccination drive, “when it is your turn, you will be notified of where to go. Please do not call your GP or health services to request a Covid-19 vaccine and add undue pressure to their workloads.”
Pharmacist Llyr Hughes of Fferyllwyr Llŷn Cyf said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first pharmacy in Wales to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine and are keen to do all we can to support the Health Board and Welsh Government accelerate the roll out of the programme.
“Our aim is to work together with the Mass Vaccination Centres, GP practices and community pharmacies to deliver the largest vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen.
“Pharmacists play a huge role in vaccinating against flu on a yearly basis and have the skills and expertise to provide the new immunisations. I’m looking forward to seeing pharmacies across Wales play a big part in helping to protect our communities as the programme expands.”