Boots — the UK’s largest multiple — will be offering COVID-19 booster vaccinations at 55 of its pharmacies in England from 4 October 2021.
The multiple said in a statement on 28 September 2021 that eligible patients would be offered a flu vaccination at the same time “wherever possible”.
This is in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which said on 14 September 2021 that flu vaccinations could be co-administered with COVID-19 booster jabs from September 2021.
The statement from Boots said the multiple has set up local COVID-19 vaccination sites in almost 100 stores, which were first set up for administering first and second vaccinations, with flu vaccinations offered in 2,000 other stores.
Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK, said that he hoped the dual vaccination offer would “drive uptake of both vaccines, which are equally important”.
“Having both vaccines offers optimum protection to those at greatest risk from getting seriously unwell from COVID-19 or flu in the coming months,” he said.
The announcement from Boots comes after the multiple said it had seen bookings for flu vaccinations increase by 67% between 1 July 2021 and 6 September 2021, when compared with the same time period in 2020.
A spokesperson for the multiple LloydsPharmacy told The Pharmaceutical Journal that they did not yet have final confirmation from the NHS on how many of its pharmacies would offer the booster vaccinations, but that the multiple “had the go-ahead to administer COVID-19 booster vaccines from a number of our community pharmacies, further supporting our local communities”.
In Wales, COVID-19 vaccinations have been provided through a “blended model” in mass vaccination centres, GP practices, and community vaccination centres, with around 20 community pharmacies commissioned to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.
In a press release issued by Public Heath Wales on 28 September 2021, Christopher Johnson, interim head of Public Health Wales’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme, said that, in Wales, most COVID-19 booster vaccinations “will be offered at the existing mass vaccination centres, with invitations issued by local health boards”.
In Scotland, COVID-19 vaccinations have been primarily administered through local GP practices and in community hubs.
Eligible people who do not fall under the most urgent categories will be able to book an appointment online to receive a COVID-19 booster jab from October. Where eligible, patients will be offered a flu vaccination at the same time.