An Exmouth pharmacy is among the first in Devon now offering appointments for coronavirus vaccinations to people in priority groups.
Lewis Pharmacy, in Exeter Road, started giving jabs to residents who have received letters from the national booking system on Thursday, January 28.
It is one of a trio in the county to do so; the others are in Plymouth and Westward Ho!
They join the two large-scale NHS vaccination centres, four hospital hubs and 20 GP-led centres already delivering vaccinations across Devon.
NHS England is running the roll-out of community pharmacy sites and is due to announce more in coming weeks.
This move sees the life-saving vaccine being offered on local high streets, further accelerating the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.
Martyn Lewis, who owns Lewis Pharmacy in Exmouth with his wife Jackie, said: “We are a community pharmacy first and foremost, and wanted to help deliver the vaccine in our local area.
“It was a hugely proud moment when we delivered our first vaccines. The patients who received them were very happy and grateful to have been vaccinated.
“Our staff have pulled out all the stops to be ready – supported by a fantastic network of nurses, GPs, volunteers, and many others.
“Everyone is working so hard to vaccinate people as quickly and safely as possible, and we’re delighted to be part of it.”
All four of Devon’s main hospitals are giving the vaccination to priority groups.
The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is serving patients in the city and East Devon
There is also a large-scale vaccination site at Westpoint Exeter in Clyst St Mary.
Some 20 GP-led sites – covering all of the county’s 123 practices – are also delivering the vaccine.
- Exmouth Tennis and Fitness Centre – serving patients from Coleridge Medical Centre in Ottery St Mary; Honiton Surgery; Sid Valley Practice; Budleigh Salterton Medical Practice; Claremont Medical Practice; Haldon House Surgery; Imperial Surgery; Raleigh Surgery; Rolle Medical Partnership, all in Exmouth; Woodbury Surgery;
- Seaton Community Hospital – serving patients from Axminster Medical Practice; Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice; Townsend Hose Medical Centre;
- Limes Surgery, Exminster – serving patients from Cranbrook Medical Centre; Ide Lane Surgery; Pinhoe and Broadclyst Medical Centre; Topsham Surgery; Westbank Practice;
- St Thomas Health Centre, Exeter – serving patients from Foxhayes Practice and St Thomas Medical Group;
- St Leonard’s Practice, Exeter – serving patients fromBarnfield Hill Surgery; Clocktower Surgery; Southernhay House Surgery; St Leonard’s Practice; Whipton Surgery; Wonford Green Surgery
- Mount Pleasant Health Centre, Exeter – serving patients from Mount Pleasant Health Centre; Heavitree Practice; South Lawn Medical Practice; ISCA Medical Practice; Hill Barton Surgery.
Residents invited to make an appointment through the new national booking service will be given a choice between a vaccination centre or a pharmacy service.
People can choose the site most convenient and accessible to them or can wait to be contacted by their GP.
It is not be possible to use the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service without having received an invitation letter.
The letter from the national system includes a unique code that is used to make the appointment.
Appointments at the sites are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues.
The NHS says it is possible someone might receive more than one invitation to be vaccinated if correspondence crosses in the post.
In this case, recipients can book at their preferred venue and disregard other correspondence – but they must not attend both.
There is no need to contact the NHS separately to let us know which one you have chosen.
People who have booked an appointment at one site but wish to attend a different venue must cancel the slot they don’t want to ensure others can have the vaccination.