Health & NHS
NPA: Pharmacy vaccinations have saved 20,000 lives
Community pharmacies offering a Covid vaccination service saved 20,000 lives between January and September last year, the National Pharmacy Association has claimed.
The NPA based its estimate on an analysis of a National Audit Office report published earlier today looking at the rollout of the coronavirus vaccination programme in England and assessing whether it is “well placed to meet its objectives in full”.
The NPA, which submitted evidence to the NAO for the report, calculated that out of an estimated 128,000 deaths avoided through the vaccination programme, community pharmacies “saved nearly 20,000 lives”.
The report found that NHS England’s vaccination drive met “unprecedented” targets with community pharmacies and GPs administering “many more doses than originally planned,” accounting for 71 per cent of all jabs by the end of October compared to an initial assumption of 56 per cent.
It states: “National and local partners showed an ability to adapt quickly, for example the rapid shift to deliver more vaccinations through GPs and pharmacies”.
The NAO also found that pharmacies and GP surgery vaccination sites were better value for the public purse, costing £24 per dose compared to £34 per dose administered in a mass vaccination centre.
The programme as a whole spent £5.6bn in the period to October 31, out of a budget of £8.3bn covering up to the end of March this year.
NPA chair Andrew Lane 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, but only one aspect of the sector’s valuable work on the NHS frontline during the pandemic.”