Third Suffolk pharmacy joins Covid vaccine rollout

The team at The Pharmacy in Long Melford, which has begun to offer the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The team at The Pharmacy in Long Melford, which has begun to offer the Covid-19 vaccine. - Credit: West Suffolk CCG

A pharmacy in Long Melford is today joining the campaign to vaccinate the Suffolk population against Covid-19 - making it the third chemist to offer the jab.  

The Pharmacy in Long Melford, which is located in the High Street, will join the two existing community pharmacy sites that went live with vaccinations on Thursday, January 21 - Aqua Pharmacy in Duke Street, Ipswich, and Hayden Chemists in Bridge Road, Lowestoft. 

This brings the total number of Covid-19 vaccination sites in Suffolk to 25, comprising three large vaccination sites, 19 primary care network (PCN) hubs and three community pharmacies.

The news comes days after a handful of vaccination centres were announced to open in Suffolk and north Essex this week.  

The former Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester United's JobServe Community stadium, Clacton Hospital and Chelmsford City Race Course are all set to become large vaccination centres. 

The Long Melford pharmacy hub will be offering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from 8am to 8pm, seven days-a-week, mirroring the opening hours of the two existing pharmacy sites already in action. 

Pharmacist Junchao Jiang, director of The Pharmacy Long Melford, said: “The team is fully ready to play its part in administering Covid-19 vaccinations and is pleased to have been given the green light.

“We are at the forefront of a viral war and it seems right to have more pharmacies that are experienced in giving vaccinations involved in the programme.”

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Tania Farrow, chief officer for the Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: ‘‘Community pharmacy, GP-led and mass vaccination sites are all supporting the same aim and are working together for the greater good of the community.

“A rapid and coordinated response is needed, and adding more pharmacies when supplies allow will make it easier for those harder-to-reach members of our community to access their vaccination.

“Almost 90% of the population has access to a community pharmacy within a 20-minute walk, so it’s essential that they are part of the programme.”

Dr Christopher Browning, chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The three key factors that will help us combat this pandemic in the short term are quality of care, collaboration with partners and stakeholders and offering a wider patient choice.

“Long term, a co-ordinated provision by partners matched to the needs of the population will help make sure Covid-19 vaccinations continue as a preventative measure."

He reminded the public to be patient and not to contact their GP practice, pharmacy or other NHS services about an appointment.

He said you will be contacted as soon as it’s your turn. 

Visit the newly launched Suffolk and North East Essex Covid-19 Vaccination Service website for the latest information on the ongoing vaccination programme.