Covid Scotland: Booster vaccine campaign set to begin next month

Scotland’s Covid booster vaccine campaign is set to begin in early September, the Scottish Government has said.

But a spokesperson said it is too early to set a date for the beginning of the rollout, as it is still subject to advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

No decision has been taken on whether the booster campaign in Scotland will be delivered by pharmacies, GPs or pop-up vaccination centres.

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It comes after reports from the Daily Telegraph that booster vaccinations in England will be delivered through community pharmacies.

Picture: PA Media

Community Pharmacy Scotland, which represents pharmacies across the country, said no decision has yet been taken in Scotland.

A spokesperson said: “At this time there are no plans to utilise the community pharmacy network to deliver Covid booster vaccines routinely in Scotland (although, for example, in some geographies and Health Boards community pharmacy may be part of the solution for local reasons).

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"CPS have stated that should the Scottish Government wish to explore the possibility of vaccinations (either flu or Covid) to support the NHS delivery we would be open to discuss this.”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said it would like to see community pharmacies playing a role in booster vaccinations, as long as this does not impact other services.

Andrew Carruthers, Chair of the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board, said: “Community pharmacies already successfully deliver flu vaccinations and we support their involvement in a wider range of NHS vaccine provision.

"Any role for community pharmacists in the Covid vaccination programme has to be appropriately planned to ensure that the vital roles community pharmacists already play in medicines supply, Pharmacy First consultations and public health services are protected/continued.

"It is also vital that the wellbeing of pharmacy teams is taken into account when faced with additional workload pressures.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said health boards are still planning the booster rollout.

“It is too early to set a start date as the JCVI looks at scientific data as it becomes available,” they said.

"We anticipate beginning roll-out in early September to eligible groups as set out in the JCVI’s interim advice, which we will be in a position to confirm once the JCVI has provided their final advice.”

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