• Sunday, May 22, 2022

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Community pharmacies saved 20,000 lives against Covid, says report

People wait in queue outside University College London Hospital vaccination centre to receive Covid booster dose in London. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sattwik Biswal

COMMUNITY PHARMACIES saved 20,000 lives until September 2021 by vaccinating people with jabs against Covid-19, according to figures by National Audit Office (NAO) report.

The public expenditure watchdog taking evidence from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), highlighted that community pharmacies and GPs went far beyond expectations in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine. Around 71 per cent of vaccinations were administered by both healthcare providers to the end of October 2021, against an initial planning assumption of 56 per cent.

The report cites UK Health Security Agency figures which estimated that the programme overall prevented up to 128,000 deaths and 262,000 hospitalisations by 24 September and 19 September respectively.


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Community Pharmacy
Community Pharmacy (Photo: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images).

Using these and other figures in the report, the NPA calculates that pharmacies saved nearly 20,000 lives up to autumn 2021.

The report also stated that “national and local partners showed an ability to adapt quickly, for example the rapid shift to deliver more vaccinations through GPs and pharmacies.

In terms of delivery costs, dedicated vaccination centres have been the most expensive at £34 per dose compared to £24 for GPs and community pharmacies.

Andrew Lane, chair of the NPA said: “We are delighted to have worked with the NAO on this important report covering the contribution of community pharmacies in the Covid-19 vaccine programme. Vaccinations delivered by community pharmacies helped save thousands of lives, which is an incredible achievement.

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