COVID vaccines could soon be sold on high street

By John Mercury January 1, 2024

COVID vaccines could soon be sold on the high street, according to retailers.

One industry leader said it was in talks with vaccine suppliers and the scheme could be introduced as soon as next year.

A Superdrug spokesperson said the firm is speaking “with suppliers about potentially offering a private COVID vaccination service in 2024.

“Ensuring healthcare is as accessible as possible for people is our priority and we’re interested in offering a private COVID vaccination.

“Currently we are gathering information to assess whether it’s a viable option.”

A Boots spokesperson said: “We would like to offer private COVID vaccinations and we are looking into how this might be possible in the future.

“We already offer a range of vaccinations, including flu vaccinations for both private and NHS customers.”

Health minister Maria Caulfield said in an answer to a written question that the government was “supportive of the emergence of a private market for COVID vaccines” in England.

“Currently COVID vaccines are not available privately but as is the case for many other vaccines, manufacturers and providers are able to set up a private market alongside the NHS offer when they consider this viable and appropriate,” she said.

Ms Caulfield added the government was “engaging with relevant parties on this.”

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75.8% of England’s over-18s had received at least three COVID vaccinations as of 2 March this year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of those who had received three doses and were eligible for a fourth, 77.7% proceeded.

A fourth dose was given to 94% of people over 80 years old, compared to 66.4% of people in their 50s.

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