Following the publication by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) of a letter setting out early guidance for the NHS on planning for a COVID-19 vaccine booster programme – referred to as phase 3 of the vaccination programme – full information on how pharmacy contractors can apply to participate in the programme has now been published.
Late yesterday, NHSE&I published the following documents:
Letter to all community pharmacy contractors
The Phase 3 Local Enhanced Service specification
Guidance on the Community Pharmacy Phase 3 Site Designation Process
The Phase 3 service specification seeks to implement interim advice from JCVI on the potential COVID-19 booster programme. This advice suggests the COVID-19 booster vaccines should be offered in two stages from September, starting with those most at risk from serious disease and that the seasonal flu vaccine should be offered alongside the third, booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The service specification for phase 3 is largely based on the current Local Enhanced Service specification for phases 1 and 2. Following a successful pilot of pharmacies administering lower volumes of vaccines, NHSE&I are now allowing contractors to express an interest in being commissioned to provide COVID-19 vaccines from a low capacity site (100 vaccination per week) in addition to the previous medium (350 vaccination per week) and large volume (1000 vaccination per week) site options.Expressions of interest need to be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 28th July 2021. Contractors already providing the COVID-19 vaccination service for phases 1 and 2 will also be required to express an interest in phase 3 following the same process.
NHSE&I webinar for contractors
NHSE&I are holding a webinar at 18:30 tonight (Thursday 15th July 2021) to share further details about the phase 3 arrangements.
Register for the webinar (Registration for the webinar will close at 16:30 today