Andrew Hodgson, Director of Andrews Pharmacy, explained how its pharmacy on Kennedy Avenue, Macclesfield is helping to show the way forward for pharmacy-led vaccinations across the country when local MP, David Rutley, visited recently.
The pharmacy was one of the first six in the country to deliver the coronavirus vaccine back on 14th January and since then 8,000 patients have been vaccinated, including many frontline NHS and social care workers. Over recent weeks, the lessons that Andrews Pharmacy has learned have helped inform the vaccine rollout to other pharmacies across the United Kingdom.
Mr Hodgson has been a strong advocate for the role of local pharmacies in the community for many years. He told David how the local team had worked incredibly hard to make it possible to deliver the vaccine against very tight deadlines. Mr Hodgson feels that this huge effort has been a highlight in his career and for his committed team.
Having the option to be vaccinated in the pharmacy provides easy access and greater choice for patients. Thanks to all the work that the teams are doing in this vaccination centre and the other vaccination centres in Macclesfield and Poynton, all those in the first four priority groups, including the over 70s and the most clinically vulnerable in our local communities, will be vaccinated by the mid-February target.
David has attended regular meetings over recent weeks with Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Vaccine Deployment, and other MPs regarding the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. On these calls, the Minister has confirmed that pharmacies will continue to have a vital role to play in the vaccination programme in the months ahead.
Dedicated local volunteers support the vaccination activity at the pharmacy by ushering and supporting patients during their visit, just as they do at the other local vaccination centres. Many patients have been grateful for their help, particularly during the recent cold weather, providing assistance with wheelchairs and helping vulnerable and older people get into the pharmacy.
Andrews Pharmacy has been providing medicines and healthcare advice to the residents of Macclesfield for over 30 years and operate three pharmacies across the town. The pharmacies are constantly working to expand the range of services they offer. In addition to flu vaccinations, they also make travel vaccinations and medicines available to their customers.
After his visit, David said, “Local pharmacies and their dedicated teams provide a valuable service in our area. Andrews Pharmacy has long campaigned for an active role for pharmacies in local communities. The team should be rightly proud of the work that they are doing, which also helps demonstrate what other pharmacies are capable of doing in rolling out the vaccine across the country - I am very grateful to Mr Hodgson and his team.”