Community pharmacies are joining the fight against Coronavirus by taking part in the Swansea Bay Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Three Swansea pharmacies are now giving Covid vaccinations under a pilot scheme.
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.
But, unlike with flu, no walk-in vaccinations will be available – it’s strictly appointment only.
The Covid vaccinations will be carried out by a pharmacist in a private room.
“We’re very excited to see com-munity pharmacies join the mass vaccination campaign to help make the vaccine more accessi-ble 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 are Newbury Pharmacy in Mumbles, Well Pharmacy in High Street, Swansea, and Castle Pharmacy in Mumbles.
The pharmacies will also be vaccinating those aged 49 and under.
Those invited for their first dose in the pharmacy will return there for their second about 11 or 12 weeks afterwards.
If the pilot goes well, more pharmacies could come on board later.
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 delight-ed 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 tak-ing 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 pro-gramme 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 pro-gramme, and we are very excited to be part of this initiative.”
Already had your vaccination? That’s brilliant!
If you’ve had your vaccination that’s great news.
But remember that you need to continue taking the usual pre-cautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It takes two to three weeks for your body to build protection following the vaccine. Also, the vaccine protects you but you may still be able to pass the virus on.
And remember that some people have still not had the vaccination yet.
Continue keeping two metres apart from those you don’t live with.
Wear a face covering in enclosed public places.
Wash your hands often.
How are we doing in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot?
At the time of writing, well over a quarter of a million doses have been given, including over 200K first doses, and people in their 40s have been getting their jabs. At this point, we’re a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
We’re well on course to meet the target of vaccinating all adults by the end of July, although this is subject to vaccine supply.