Four health boards across Wales have commissioned more than 30 community pharmacies to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, nearly double the number reported by The Pharmaceutical Journal in April 2021.
As of 29 November 2021, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Swansea Bay University Health Board said they had commissioned 1, 10, 9, and 14 community pharmacies, respectively, to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
Powys, Hywel Dda and Cwm Taf University Health Boards said they had not commissioned community pharmacies to provide the vaccines.
Gill Harris, executive director of nursing and midwifery at Betsi Cadwaladr, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the board was “planning to commission many more community pharmacies imminently”, on top of the 10 it has already commissioned.
Commenting on its vaccination service, a spokesperson for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said that “appointments are booked with our pharmacies through our central booking line and citizens are auto-scheduled for an appointment at a community pharmacy, based on their registered GP and residential postcode, if there is one delivering the vaccine near where they live”.
A spokesperson for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said vaccinations in its area were mainly being delivered through mass vaccination centres, “with minimal involvement of primary care contractors”.
In a statement from Swansea Bay University Health Board, Niki Watts, a pharmacist at Vale of Neath Pharmacy, said: “We decided to take part because we believe it’s important to help the health board get the population fully vaccinated as quickly as possible. We are located at the heart of the community so the patients find it easy to access.”
As of 24 November 2021, 77.8% of the Welsh population had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 71.3% had received their second. A further 25.4% have now received their booster vaccination.
- This article was amended on 30 November 2021 to correct the number of pharmacies that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has commissioned to deliver COVID-19 vaccines