The county’s campaign to immunise its population against Covid-190 received a boost today as another pharmacy joins the vaccine roll out.
The Pharmacy in Long Melford on the High Street will become the third Suffolk pharmacy to join the campaign.
It will join the two existing community pharmacy sites that went live with vaccinations on 21st January – Aqua Pharmacy in Duke Street, Ipswich and Hayden Chemists in Bridge Road, Lowestoft.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 vaccination sites in Suffolk to 25, comprising three large vaccination sites, 19 PCN hubs and three community pharmacies.
The Long Melford pharmacy hub will be offering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from 8am to 8pm, seven days-a-week, mirroring the opening hours of the two existing pharmacy sites.
As more community pharmacy sites go live, they will offer patients more locations to choose from when they are notified by the NHS that they are eligible for their vaccination.
Pharmacist Junchao Jiang, Director of The Pharmacy Long Melford, said: “The team is fully ready to play its part in administering Covid-19 vaccinations and pleased to have been given the green light.
“We are at the forefront of a viral war and it seems right to have more pharmacies that are experienced in giving vaccinations involved in the programme.”
Tania Farrow, Chief Officer for the Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: ‘‘Community pharmacy, GP-led and mass vaccination sites are all supporting the same aim and are working together for the greater good of the community.
“A rapid and coordinated response is needed, and adding more pharmacies when supplies allow will make it easier for those harder-to-reach members of our community to access their vaccination.
“Almost 90% of the population has access to a community pharmacy within a 20-minute walk, so it’s essential that they are part of the programme.”
Dr Christopher Browning, Chair of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The three key factors that will help us combat this pandemic in the short term are quality of care, collaboration with partners and stakeholders and offering a wider patient choice.
“Long term, a co-ordinated provision by partners matched to the needs of the population will help make sure Covid-19 vaccinations continue as a preventative measure.
“We would like to remind the public to be patient and not to contact their GP practice, pharmacy or other NHS services about an appointment. You will be contacted as soon as it’s your turn. Please do not attend a vaccination site without an appointment.”
Visit the newly launched Suffolk and North East Essex Covid-19 Vaccination Service website for the latest information on the ongoing vaccination programme: www.sneevaccine.org.uk