The new pharmacy run sites join the large-scale vaccination centres in Blackpool, Blackburn and Lancaster, 11 hospital hubs and 35 GP-led sites in rolling out the Lancashire and South Cumbria Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The programmes at AFC Fylde and Bispham being co-ordinated by Imaan Pharmacy and the chain's superintendent pharmacists Saghir Ahmed said the aim is to vaccinate up to 400 people a day.
Five pharmacists are on duty at each venue each day, so that even when one takes a break, four vaccination hubs are available to administer the AstraZeneca version of the vaccine.
"We are thrilled to be asked by the NHS to support the mass roll out of the vaccination service and the opening day went very well," said Sahir .
“We are here for at least six months and our pharmacists and healthcare teams are looking forward to helping all those in the local communities to be vaccinated and protected against Covid-19 so that we can edge closer to those normalities we cherish in our lives."
"The sessions at Bradley’s Bar, within the Mill Farm stadium at Wesham, run from 8am to 8pm daily by appointment only to the priority groups as listed by the Government.
AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite said: “ I am absolutely delighted we can help the Government and the local community with this vitally important programme.“
Jane Scattergood, nurse and Covid-19 vaccination director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “We have already made real progress in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
"This will be expanded significantly as we ramp up delivery in the weeks ahead with our new pharmacy-led vaccine sites playing a key part.
"As trusted members of the local communities they serve, our pharmacy teams continue to work tirelessly to provide a vital service during this pandemic, often acting as the first port of call for expert health advice.
"So, it is fitting that they will have a critical role in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I know there is a great deal of anticipation around the Covid-19 vaccine but remember all sites are operating on an appointment-only basis. To allow teams to operate safely and maintain social distancing please don’t arrive without booking first. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.”
Kath Gulson, chief executive officer of Community Pharmacy Lancashire, said: “Community Pharmacy Lancashire represents 358 community pharmacies in Lancashire. We are pleased to see our pharmacists playing a role in delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme alongside our GP colleagues and other providers, supporting local patients and communities.”
“Community pharmacy has a vital role in supporting the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. We welcome the first wave of community pharmacies going live to support the national effort in delivering the programme.”
The new pharmacy operated sites will initially be vaccinating people aged 75 and over, who have received a letter inviting them to book an appointment on the national booking system, along with frontline health and social care staff. This is in line with prioritisation agreed at a national level.
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