Boots offers private COVID-19 vaccination service at almost £100 per jab

The multiple will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination privately at 52 locations across England.
pfizer/biontech vaccine vials

Boots has announced it will provide private COVID-9 vaccinations from 1 April 2024 at a cost of £98.95 per jab.

While some of its stores will also offer NHS COVID-19 vaccinations, the multiple will provide the private vaccination service at 52 locations across England.

Boots said its private service would offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, although it may consider providing other vaccines in the future, and it would be available for people aged 12 years and over.

In February 2024, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved a change of licence for the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine, allowing it to become the first to be available privately in the UK, with pharmacies and private providers able to set their own sale price for providing the vaccines to the public.

A spokesperson for Boots said: “Our private service builds on our existing delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations for the NHS and we are pleased we can now offer COVID-19 vaccinations both on behalf of the NHS and privately, as we have done with flu vaccinations for many years.”

Pharmacy clinical service provider Pharmadoctor announced in February 2024 that it would launch a private COVID-19 vaccination service, supporting pharmacies to deliver the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to members of the public from £45 per jab. Pharmadoctor’s website says that pharmacists providing this service will also be able to provide the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination.

Superdrug had previously said it was considering providing private COVID-19 vaccinations. On 27 March 2024, a spokesperson told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the company was “speaking directly with suppliers about potentially offering a private COVID vaccination service this year”.

“These conversations include how to reduce operational challenges to support sustainability and reduce the risk of wastage and shrinkage of delivering a private COVID vaccination service,” they added.

In response to a parliamentary question about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, health minister Maria Caulfield said on 18 January 2024: “The government is supportive of the emergence of a private market for COVID-19 vaccines.

“Supply of vaccines for such a market would be, as with all other vaccines, a matter for the private providers working with manufacturers to obtain through the open market.”

In February 2024, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that a spring booster COVID-19 jab should be offered on the NHS from April 2024 to those most at risk of serious illness, including people aged over 75 years; residents in care homes for older adults; and immunosuppressed individuals aged over 6 months.

Community pharmacies in England were offered an extra £2.50 per COVID-19 jab, in addition to the existing item of service fee of £7.54, to take part in the NHS spring 2024 vaccination campaign.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, March 2024, Vol 312, No 7983;312(7983)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.307071

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