Asda to open first in-store vaccination centre in Birmingham

The supermarket says its centre will be able to vaccinate 250 people a day Credit: PA

Asda has announced it will become the first supermarket to roll out an in-store vaccination centre, with the first site opening in Birmingham.

The supermarket has been chosen by NHS England to operate the centre from an in-store pharmacy, which will be staffed by qualified Asda pharmacy colleagues.

The exact Asda supermarket has not yet been confirmed but the company says work is already underway to transform the George department to make space for the dedicated vaccination area - which will operate 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

The supermarket hopes to vaccinate 250 people a day at the site, with priority given to the elderly and vulnerable.

Asda is urging people not to contact the store directly but says those who have received an appointment from the NHS will be able to select Asda as their vaccination site.

Asda says the George section of its supermarket will be transformed into a vaccination centre Credit: PA

Asda has also offered NHS England the full use of its 238 in-store pharmacies and qualified pharmacists to support the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine programme.

As this variant of the vaccine is easier to transport and store, Asda says it could be administered from its full network of in-store pharmacies throughout the country.

We have an extensive nationwide logistics network that could support the storage and distribution of the vaccine and our highly-trained pharmacy colleagues are experienced in delivering large vaccination programmes, having recently provided nearly 200,000 flu jabs to members of the public.

Roger Burnley, Asda CEO

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.

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