Asda to offer Covid-19 booster jabs at in-store pharmacies alongside winter flu jab service
Asda is to become the first supermarket to deliver Covid-19 booster vaccinations this winter.
The supermarket's network of in-store pharmacies will begin offering the additional immunisation - for patients who have already had two Covid vaccines - from this month.
The retailer has run three dedicated Covid-19 vaccination centres at Asda stores in Birmingham, Watford and London since January, when the government began rolling out the vaccination programme and 100,000 injections have so far been delivered from these three sites.
But in addition to that, as the country gears up to administer booster injections to those deemed to be in need of an additional coronavirus vaccination this winter, an additional 72 Asda pharmacies are joining the programme.
It is hoped they will be able to deliver more than 7,500 booster jabs per week to patients including those aged over 50, care home staff, frontline health workers and people aged over 16 with an underlying health condition or those who are a main carer for someone who could be at risk of getting seriously ill from the virus.
Patients entitled to a Covid booster jab must have had their second dose of the vaccine at least six months ago. Individuals in priority groups will receive their appointment from the NHS and have the option to select the Asda store as a convenient location to receive their booster jab - patients are asked to not contact shops directly.
Faisal Tuddy, Asda Superintendent Pharmacist, said: “We are proud to have supported the NHS vaccination rollout throughout the year and will continue to do all we can to help vulnerable individuals top up their protection ahead of the winter months.
"Expanding the booster service to more than 70 Asda stores across the UK means that many more people will be able to receive their jabs in a convenient location at the heart of their community.”
Asda's involvement will continue through the winter months as part of nationwide efforts to protect the most vulnerable this winter. Its supermarket pharmacies will also still be running a winter flu jab service at the same time as offering Covid boosters, which will cost £8 for anyone not eligible for a free NHS injection.
Health officials are encouraging patients to come forward for both booster jabs and flu immunisations because it is the first winter Covid and flu are going to circulate fully at the same time with fewer coronavirus restrictions or tiered lockdowns in place.
More than 40 million people in the UK are going to be offered a flu jab this year in the biggest flu vaccination campaign so far including for the first time secondary school pupils up to the age of 16.
In July, retailer Boots announced that it would be opening bookings for winter flu jabs saying that it was preparing to respond to the potential for a 'serious flu epidemic' this winter.
The health and beauty retailer said it had seen demand soar with a 100,000 strong waiting list, prompting it to open reservations for slots much earlier in the year than it normally would.