Hartlepool pharmacist backs Mail's new Shot In The Arm Covid jab campaign

A Hartlepool pharmacist is backing our campaign to make it easier for local health professionals to give coronavirus vaccines.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 9:47 am

Qammar Nazir, of Ascent Healthcare, which runs two pharmacies in the town said he is fully supportive of the Mail’s Shot In The Arm campaign which launches today.

We and our sister titles are calling on Boris Johnson to use the country’s thousands of ready, willing and able community pharmacies to speed up the roll out of the jab.

Mr Nazir, who runs Middle Warren Pharmacy at Bishop Cuthbert and Winterbottom Pharmacy in West View, Hartlepool, said attempts to play their part have been stifled by red tape.

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Pharmacist Qammar Nazir of Hartlepool independent pharmacy company Ascent Healthcare.

That includes excessive paperwork and minimum 1,000 vaccinations a week quota.

Mr Nazir said: “We were very disappointed when it was initially announced that pharmacies would be involved but then the news came out that we are not.

"The Government have made it really difficult. We have got two pharmacies in Hartlepool and do hundreds if not thousands of jabs.

"We would do the Covid vaccine if we were offered it.”

We are calling on Boris Johnson to use the country’s ready, willing and able community pharmacies to speed up the roll out of the vaccine.

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Hartlepool pharmacies could help deliver Covid vaccine

Mr Nazir said while the Pfizer vaccine presents some logistical issues due to its need to be stored at -70 degrees, the newer AstraZeneca (Oxford) jab could be delivered just like flu injections.

"The guidelines are the same as any other jab,” he said. “We’ve got the facilities, we’ve got PPE, consultation rooms.

"If pharmacies are trusted with flu jabs they should be trusted with Covid jabs.

"I don’t see any issue apart from the red tape.”

The Government has set a target of immunising 14 million by the middle of February.

Our campaign aims to ensure that every one is only a short walk away from a vaccine centre.

Mr Nazir added: “The whole point is so we can get the country vaccinated. We’re hopeful the rules do change and we can play our part.

"I do hope this campaign is going to push the government to change their views so I definitely support it.”

The call comes as the number of cases in Hartlepool continue to rise believed to be caused by a new faster-spreading variant and household mixing over the festive period.

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