Asda is set to expand its in-store vaccination programme after becoming the first supermarket in the UK to begin administering the jabs this week.
The retailer has announced plans to open a second vaccine centre in its superstore in Watford, from February 1.
It comes after Asda launched its first centre in Birmingham on January 25, offering vaccinations from its in-store pharmacy from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
The clothing sector of the stores, which are currently not open due to coronavirus restrictions, will be converted into the vaccine centres and able to administer 3500 vaccines every week.
“We are incredibly proud to be the first supermarket pharmacy to administer the vaccine and to play our part in helping the NHS roll out its vaccination programme,” Asda’s superintendent pharmacist Faisal Tuddy said.
“Many of the people who will attend the store today have been shielding at home for months and we hope receiving the vaccine is the first step towards a return to normality for them.
“We are also stepping up our support for the NHS by opening a second in-store vaccination centre next week and have offered all of our 254 in-store pharmacies across the UK, along with our logistics network, to help with the rollout.”
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.