Asda will become the first supermarket to offer vaccinations from inside its stores providing up to 250 jabs per day.
From January 25 Asda’s Birmingham store will offer vaccinations from its in-store pharmacy from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
Qualified pharmacy staff will begin administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to priority groups first, however Asda has offered the full use of its 238 in-store pharmacies to support the roll out of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Asda is reportedly in discussions with Public Health England and NHS England to assess which other sites within its store estate could be utilised to support the vaccine roll-out programme.
“We are incredibly proud to provide this service and are keen to do all we can to help the NHS and government accelerate the rollout of the vaccination programme,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“We have an extensive nationwide logistics network that could support the storage and distribution of the vaccine and our highly trained pharmacy colleagues are experienced in delivering large vaccination programmes, having recently provided nearly 200,000 flu jabs to members of the public.
“We are on hand to provide the NHS with any practical support required so that more people can quickly receive the vaccine.”
Retailers across the UK have come to the aid of the NHS and offered their support in rolling out the vaccine as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket across the UK.
High street pharmacies including Boots, Superdrug and four others, which have been picked for their ability to deliver large volumes of the vaccine and allow social distancing, will begin administering the vaccine from today.
By the end of the month, it’s expected that more than 200 high street pharmacies with capacity for 1000 doses a week will be able to give vaccines, according to NHS England.
Tesco has offered the use of its considerable logistics network to help distribute the vaccine, while Morrisons has offered to transform its carparks into drive-through vaccination centres.
Last week, Bensons for Beds also announced it was offering its store estate, which is closed amid the national lockdown, to act as make-shift vaccination centres.