Main image: Three Swansea pharmacies are giving the Covid vaccine under a pilot programme.
Two Swansea pharmacies have begun giving Covid vaccinations today (Wednesday, March 31st) under a pilot scheme.
A third will begin this weekend.
The vaccines are given strictly by appointment only to invited local residents who are in the correct priority group and due for their first dose.
It’s all part of efforts to make getting a vaccine easier.
Detailed planning has ensured there is enough Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for each pharmacy to initially schedule 100 appointments per week.
Unlike with flu, no walk-in vaccinations will be available.
The Covid vaccinations will be carried out by a pharmacist in a private room.
“We’re very excited to see community pharmacies join the mass vaccination campaign to help make the vaccine more accessible for our patients,” said Dr Anjula Mehta, Group Medical Director for Primary Care, Community and Therapies Services.
“Community pharmacies are a vital health resource and I’m sure the public will welcome being able to get their vaccine in such a convenient location.
“The pilot scheme will initially run for four weeks and we hope it can be expanded to include other pharmacies in the coming weeks and months.”
The three pilot pharmacies will be vaccinating some people in group 6 – a very large group which includes those with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers.
Many in this group are also being vaccinated in the Mass Vaccination Centres, at their GP surgery and on the Immbulance mobile vaccination clinic.
The pharmacies will also be vaccinating those aged 49 and under as the programme moves into phase two in the next week to 10 days.
Newbury Pharmacy in Mumbles and Well Pharmacy in High Street, Swansea, began vaccinating today, Wednesday, March 31st.
Castle Pharmacy in Mumbles will begin on Saturday, April 3rd.
Those invited for their first dose in the pharmacy will return there for their second.
Sam Ghafar, Regional Operations Manager for Wales (North and West) of Well Pharmacy, said: “Helping people stay well is in our DNA, and we are delighted to play our part in vaccinating people across Swansea.
“Pharmacists are at the heart of community healthcare and have been working tirelessly over the last 12 months to support patients and ensure everyone has their medication as well as taking pressure off the NHS and GPs.”
Huw Evans, of Newbury Pharmacy in Mumbles, said: “We are delighted to be participating in the early stages of the Covid-19 vaccination programme utilising community pharmacy locations.
“We are very keen to play our part in ensuring the local community are protected and hopefully able to feel a little more confident about the future.”
Eileen Davies, Superintendent Pharmacist at Castle Pharmacy added: “We are very happy to be supporting the Mumbles community by providing this service.
“Lives have already been saved by the Covid vaccination programme, and we are very excited to be part of this initiative. We will be carrying out the vaccinations during the next few weekends at Castle Pharmacy, as it is easier for the patients and we can fully focus on the vaccine programme.”