Temple Pharmacy based in Ealing, London is the latest Alitam member to support the government in reaching its COVID-19 vaccination roll out programme.

According to Nadhim Zahawi, more than 2.4 million people in the UK have now received a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are being scaled up dramatically across the UK with the government aiming for 200,000 vaccinations per day by Friday. Alitam believes this figure can increase by at least 50% if more community pharmacists become involved.

Despite the surge of vaccinations, the roll out has seen mixed results to date. Mass vaccine centres have been opened in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Stevenage, Bristol and Epsom, but there’s an argument that some environments are far more suitable and desirable than others. Pensioners in their late 80’s have been arriving at London’s ExCel Centre to be vaccinated, with some leaving having waited 20 minutes in freezing cold conditions. Other pensioners complained they had been left breathless by tackling an assault course of steep ramps and banks of stairs. The introduction of community pharmacies to support the COVID-19 vaccinations will support this matter.

Dinesh Patel, owner of Temple Pharmacy said: “Community pharmacists are best placed to serve their communities. This is our role in society. Our patients expect this from us and we expect this from ourselves. Our facilities are local, have easy access for the aged, and patients will not be left waiting in freezing conditions for a COVID-19 vaccination. The cold can impede our patients’ health, especially the age group who are eligible for the vaccination at this time. Our staff are well trained and will adapt to the requirements to deliver the COVID-19 vaccinations.

We have already installed pole barriers throughout the pharmacy to segregate customers from vaccine patients. We have also increased signage around the store. In addition, we have increased our waiting room capacity to avoid senior citizens waiting in the cold. Temple Pharmacy will play its part in saving our patients’ lives, whilst helping to reduce the infections across the south of England. Infections and deaths are still rising. Whilst it’s worrying times, the vaccinations will reduce the spread and, over time, bring our region and country back to some normality. We are delighted to play our part and be involved in the national COVID-19 vaccination roll out.”