UK retailer Asda has announced plans to open an in-store COVID-19 vaccination centre in an in-store pharmacy in Birmingham.
NHS England has selected the supermarket for administering the vaccine.
Qualified staff from Asda Pharmacy will administer the vaccine to priority groups identified by the NHS.
Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and president, said, “We are incredibly proud to provide this service and are keen to do all we can to help the NHS and Government accelerate the rollout of the vaccination programme.”
The centre will administer vaccines from 25 January and operate from 8:00 to 20:00, seven days a week.
It will be equipped to administer 250 jabs per day, the retailer added.
The site is the first Asda pharmacy to be approved to support the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine programme.
The retailer is also working with Public Health England and NHS England to assess other sites within its estate to support this programme.
'Extensive Nationwide Logistics'
Burnley added, “We have an extensive nationwide logistics network that could support the storage and distribution of the vaccine, and our highly-trained pharmacy colleagues are experienced in delivering large vaccination programmes, having recently provided nearly 200,000 flu jabs to members of the public. We are on hand to provide the NHS with any practical support required so that more people can quickly receive the vaccine.”
Individuals in priority groups will receive their appointment from the NHS and have the option to select the Asda store as a convenient location to receive their vaccination, the retailer said.
Asda has also offered NHS England access to its 238 in-store pharmacies and qualified pharmacists to support the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine programme.
As this vaccine is easier to transport and store, it could be administered from Asda’s full network of in-store pharmacies throughout the country.