Sheffield MPs back campaign to use pharmacies for vaccine rollout

Sheffield MPs have given their support to a campaign calling for pharmacies to be used for giving out Covid vaccinations.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 7:00 am

MPs have given their support to a campaign calling for pharmacies to be used for giving out vaccinations.

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Sheffield MP Olivia Blake

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said: “Thanks to our brilliant scientists, the UK was the first country in the world to get the vaccine. It is now up to the government to ensure that it is rolled-out as quickly as possible.

“The Prime Minister needs to use this lockdown to develop a round-the-clock vaccination programme, 24-hours a day, 7 days-a-week.

“We need to make the most of every available resource, that means vaccination centres in every local community, roll-out mobile vaccination units, fully equipping community pharmacists, ensuring GPs have all the resources they need and making the most of the army of volunteers who are coming forward every day to support this effort.”

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said: “Community pharmacies are already playing a vital role in the rollout of the vaccine programme, and many more will be joining this national effort over the coming weeks.

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge

"In many areas pharmacies form part of the local Primary Care Networks that are one of three main forms of vaccination centre, alongside hospital hubs and mass vaccination sites such as sports arenas.

“The complex logistics involved have required the initial focus to be on identifying sites that can process large numbers of patients and have the space necessary to do this. Within local Primary Care Networks this has often been a central GP surgery, and this has been working very well.

"As the vaccination programme moves beyond the most vulnerable to include the wider population I am confident that community pharmacies will be able to bring all their experience and resources to the table in delivering vaccines.”

Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “If the government is going to succeed in vaccinating millions of people by spring, it must use all of the resources at its disposal. This includes local pharmacies that are embedded in communities and easy to travel to.”

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, said: “I think it’s logical and that will be something that needs incorporating into the vaccination programme as soon as possible but the real constraint at present is the amount of vaccines available.

“I just got off a call now with one of our local GPs who were one of the first in Sheffield to start the vaccination programme and what they are telling me is it is a problem about delivery dates and the amount of vaccines available, that’s what is constraining them.

“So at this stage, yes it would be great to have more places where the vaccine could be delivered but they are still going to need appointments made for them.

“As soon as we get more vaccines the pharmacies should absolutely be involved. It would be great to have them.”

Sheffield south east MP Clive Betts