Vaccine rollout to be expanded to more high street pharmacies in Luton
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine will be expanded from next week, with more high street pharmacies in Luton being added to the list.
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG (BLMK CCG) is expected to reveal which Luton pharmacies have been added in an announcement next week.
Seven independent stores in Bedford have already been confirmed for the first phase, with the remaining 22 pharmacies in Luton and Milton Keynes coming in phase two.
Cllr Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Borough Council, said: “Vaccination is the strongest weapon we have in our armoury to beat the pandemic that has caused so much heartbreak and distress throughout our local communities in the past year.
"We have been pleased with the success of the various walk-in schemes in the town which have allowed those eligible to easily get vaccinated without needing to book.
"Many people came forward for these, who otherwise would not have done so.
“These walk-in schemes were limited in scope and reach and we continue to feel very vulnerable to the increasing spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 (the variant first identified in India).
"Vaccination rates in some of our population continue to be low.
"As a result of this, three weeks ago we sent a plea to central government, to roll out vaccination across the whole town in order to increase it among underrepresented groups.
"We are still waiting for a response in order to properly protect all our communities.”
Residents will be able to book a jab at these new vaccination sites from next week at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
People can book both jabs at the same time, and for those who cannot go online can call the service for free on 119 for extra support in doing so.
The phone line is available from 7am until 11pm each day.
Fiona Garnett, of BLMK, said: “Pharmacies are at the heart of our local communities and the introduction of these new sites will make a big difference to our rollout programme by providing even more local, convenient places for those that are eligible to get their jab.
“We know that patients will value this and that pharmacies can continue to make a significant contribution to the national vaccination efforts.”