NHS England confirms pharmacists to be vaccinated against COVID-19

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published new guidance on the Vaccination of Frontline Health and Social Care Workers.

It states that as well as vaccinating directly employed NHS staff, Trusts will work with CCGs and local systems to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all healthcare workers in primary care, and independent practitioners and providers including community pharmacy, general practice, dentistry, optometry and hospices. This includes locums, bank staff and volunteers.

The guidance calls on Trusts to complete COVID-19 vaccination of all frontline health and social care workers as quickly as possible, according to priorities recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

By mid-January, all NHS Trusts will be established as “hospital hubs” and the default provider of for vaccinations. The guidance notes that local systems may wish to develop alternative local arrangements with vaccination centres (which are being mobilised from 11 January), or GP and community pharmacy-run local vaccination centres.

RPS England Chair Claire Anderson said:

“It’s great to have confirmation that pharmacists and their teams in all care settings, including locums, bank staff and volunteers, will receive the vaccine alongside the other health professions.

“Pharmacists are working hard on the frontline of the pandemic and it’s vital they get the protection they deserve. This guidance offers some welcome clarity on how they will be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

For the latest updates, advice and information, visit our COVID-19 hub.