Alitam Group Founder, Feisal Nahaboo, has continued to encourage pharmacies to step forward and join the government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Feisal believes community pharmacists can significantly help in reducing the infection rate and to save lives. COVID-19 related deaths has now surpassed 83,000 in the UK and Feisal predicts fatalities will continue way beyond 100,000 unless more community pharmacists are permitted to vaccinate.

As of 13 January 2021, 2,639,309 people have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Whilst this is a major start, 96% of the UK population is still at risk with the 4% vaccinated still needing additional doses.

The Government has set out its UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan for vaccinating tens of millions of people by spring 2021, yet Feisal does not believe the country is maximising its distribution capability and predicts the level of fatalities is set to soar.

The current roll-out programme includes 206 active hospital sites, 50 vaccination centres, around 1,200 local vaccination sites – including primary care networks and community pharmacy sites.

Feisal said: “The epidemic is far worse than what we initially experienced in Spring 2020. Our NHS service is totally overwhelmed and resources are being stretched to unprecedented levels. As medical professionals, we must stand closely together and best support the government with its COVID-19 vaccination role out plan. We are suffering, mourning and living a ‘major incident’. Our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children are all dying from this infection. Whilst there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel still remains very long. Whilst we now have 3 vaccination types we must work more effectively to speed up the roll-out process. Every day we fail to maximise our vaccine distribution, a further 1,500 to 2,000 lives are lost. I ask all our community pharmacists to step forward and help the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Our communities have trusted community pharmacists from day 1 of this pandemic. Alitam pharmacies offer a number of vaccinations, including the flu jab, every year – our communities expect us to help keep them safe. As community pharmacies, we are agile and can adapt to standards required to deliver the vaccinations. I’m delighted to confirm that more Alitam pharmacies are being approved each day to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

On Friday, Sadiq Khan described London’s infection rate as being ‘out of control’’ with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) taking 2,500 additional calls to a normal busy day. As a result, 125 firefighters and 75 Met Police officers have been drafted in to support the LAS. London is one of the worst affected cities. We have reacted to this news by supporting the London region. We have a number of pharmacies preparing their London-based facilities to the standards set by the government.

I’m extremely proud of our pharmacy frontline workers. They are considered one of the unsung heroes of this unprecedented crisis. They’ve shown immense heart, integrity and bravery since the pandemic and they’ve never failed the public. As a group, we are pulling together whilst pooling our knowledge to best prepare our patients’ vaccinations in record time.”

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