Asda to become first supermarket to offer Covid-19 vaccinations

Asda said it would be offering vaccinations from one of its stores in Birmingham. Credit: PA

Asda is set to become the first supermarket to offer in-store Covid-19 vaccinations which will offer 250 jabs a day, seven days a week.

The supermarket said it was chosen by NHS England to operate a vaccination centre from one of its in-store pharmacies in Birmingham and will be administered by qualified Asda staff.

Asda will transform George clothing section into a vaccination centre which will operate all week from 8am to 8pm.

Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and President, said: “We are incredibly proud to provide this service and are keen to do all we can to help the NHS and Government accelerate the rollout of the vaccination programme."

They have been approved to offer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which is the most difficult to store of the three jabs currently approved in the UK.

The vaccine will be delivered by trained Asda staff. Credit: PA

The Pfzier/BioNTech jab needs to be stored at -70C, which is far colder than a usual freezer and it begins to breakdown quickly when at room temperatures.

Asda said people will receive their jab appointment via the NHS and will have the option to go to their store if its convenient, they asked people not to contact their vaccination centres directly.

Asda has said it is working with NHS England to assess which other sites could be used as vaccination centres and would support the use of the easier to store Oxford/AstraZeneca all of its 238 in-store pharmacies.

Mr Burnley wrote to Asda’s customers this morning to update on what Asda is doing in the fight against Covid-19. In an email, he wrote: “It’s crucial that we all play our part, support one another, and help take the pressure off the NHS.”

Asda recently joined with Tesco, Waitrose, Aldi, Morrisons and Sainsbury's in announcing they would bar entry to their stores to anyone who wasn't not wearing a mask.

The tightening of rules was down to fears people were being less compliant with lockdown measures than they were during the first wave, despite the spread of the new more infectious variant of Covid-19.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told ITV on Wednesday the government was "up for" implementing 24-hour vaccinations but it wasn't viable at this time.

The UK has vaccinated almost 2.5 million people and has pledged to vaccinate 13 million of the nations most vulnerable by the middle of February.