Following news that the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, starting from today it will be used at over 600 GP and hospital sites using the first batch of 530000 doses.
Compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that has to be stored at extremely cold temperatures, the Oxford-AstraZeneca version is able to be stored at standard fridge temperature, which makes it much easier to use in the community.
It has now been announced that Boots will be opening 3 vaccination sites across the country to help with the roll-out of the new vaccine, and one will be in Huddersfield. It is not yet clear whether this will be set up in one of their branches, or a stand-alone site in the town.
For safety reasons, for the first few days the vaccines will be delivered in hospitals and GP surgeries for surveillance, in case of rare reactions as with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The news comes after a week rife with news of Covid-19’s spread and uncertainty around the reopening of schools today. Recent figures suggest that the prevalence of the ‘mutant’ variant of the virus is at its third highest in Huddersfield, but this has not been mentioned as a direct link to the placement of a vaccination site in the town.
In a statement to Huddersfield Times, Boots said “At Boots, we are proud of our role at the heart of UK healthcare and we can confirm that, together with the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), Boots will initially open three COVID-19 vaccination sites, based in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester. They will begin vaccinating patients in early January.
Boots has extensive knowledge and experience of mass vaccination (having completed over a million flu vaccinations this year, for example) and we have developed a model for COVID-19 vaccination that is aligned with our exceptional safety, clinical and operational standards. We stand ready to do much more and our national network of pharmacy expertise is prepped to support the NHS and the government to accelerate the rollout of the vaccine.”
When you are eligible for a vaccination you will be invited to attend. Please avoid calling GP surgeries and pharmacies asking about when you will receive the vaccine, as they are unable to book appointments for this. As always, if you have concerns about receiving the vaccine due to medical history, please discuss with your GP.