January 7, 2021 2.24 pm This story is over 40 months old

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine rolled out to GPs, pharmacies next week

But there’s secrecy over where it’s being delivered

By Local Democracy Reporter

The new Oxford vaccine for coronavirus is being distributed to GP services this week, with pharmacies set to be given the green light next week.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive at hundreds of GPs across the country in order to make it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against the virus.

It has been trialled at hospitals before being sent to community-based local vaccination services in the UK this week.

In Lincolnshire, this will be at the Boston-based hospital hub, as well as primary care networks across the county.

The government also announced that hundreds of new sites are opening in the community this week as part of the rollout’s next phase.

According to The Guardian, the Oxford vaccine will also be distributed at high street pharmacies to help speed up the process.

There are 11,000 pharmacies in England, and companies such as Boots and Lloyds have committed to delivering more than 1,000 shots each a week.

It is being reported that over two hundred sites, led by community pharmacies, will be allowed to administer the vaccine as well.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to provide 13 million of the UK’s most vulnerable people with the vaccine by mid-February.

According to vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi, just 10% of that figure has been managed since rollout began on December 8 nationwide.

It has been estimated that around 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered in Lincolnshire so far, with over 7,000 Oxford doses arriving in the county this week.

The Lincolnite has approached United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the wider NHS in Lincolnshire, to ask how many hubs there are in the county and where they are located, but they have not answered.

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Martin Hill, also wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on behalf of all local council leaders, expressing concerns over a lack of transparency in the vaccine rollout process.

He condemned “national edicts which are apparently preventing local managers from sharing details of their local delivery plans with us.”

“As you are well aware, there will be an understandable demand from the public to understand when and where they can expect their vaccinations, and to attempt to cover the plans in a veil of secrecy makes no sense to them or us and will only undermine confidence and patience locally.

“I think everyone understands that plans can change and delivery sometimes fall short of expectation but the answer surely must be clarity and transparency so the public at least understand the challenges and ambition and will then be supportive and understanding.”