Vaccination plans for community pharmacy COVID vaccination sites for weeks of 8 March to 29 March 2021




Publishing approval reference: C1174

To: Community Pharmacy Local Vaccination Sites


  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Regional Heads of Primary Care and Public Health
  • Regional Directors of Commissioning Finance
  • Regional Medical Directors

2 March 2021

Dear Community Pharmacy COVID vaccination sites

This letter describes forthcoming vaccine supply for first doses, providing advanced notification of a substantial increase in the volume of vaccine available and the need to use it quickly to prevent wastage.

Patients in cohort 5 (those aged 65-70) remain our focus. Patients identified as being at higher risk by the QCOVID algorithm, unpaid carers identified by the Department of Work and Pensions in Cohort 6 and then those in Cohort 7 (those aged 60 years and over) have started receiving invitations from the National Booking Service (NBS) to attend a community pharmacy setting or vaccination centre for their vaccinations. Previous cohorts will also receive reminder letters and every effort needs to be made within local systems to ensure no-one is left behind.

Health and social care workers are still able to book via NBS, and further communication will be issued on the timescales for inviting cohorts 8 and 9.

We have introduced a new web form ( through which all sites should record their stock position on a weekly basis and record any wastage. Each site is asked to complete the web form on a Monday morning to reflect stock held at close of day on the Sunday preceding and recording wastage during the previous 7 days. This will help ensure all allocations are based on the correct data.

8 to 10 March

There will be minimal allocations of new vaccine in the first part of the week commencing 8 March, reflecting national supply available to the programme. We may be able to supply 160 doses of AZ to some sites on either Monday 8 or Tuesday 9 March. You will shortly receive notification of whether your site will receive one of these allocations and, if so, your delivery day.

With this in mind we are asking you to take the following actions:

  1. Ensure that you clearly understand your current stock position and any new first doses allocated on 8/9 March, planning to use all of it, as well as any vaccine carried over from previous weeks, by close on Wednesday 10 or the day immediately preceding your next supply (see below). You will need to release appointments during the week commencing 1 March and early in the week commencing 8 March to match any stock in hand from earlier weeks and any sets of 160 doses of additional supply, but no more.
  2. Take the opportunity to set up mobile temporary vaccination clinics at places of worship and other local venues in your community at which you could expect to reach those from eligible cohorts who have not presented at fixed vaccination sites. Guidance on how this can be done is here.

From Thursday 11 March

We know that many sites have keenly anticipated an increase in vaccine supply to allow them to operate at maximum capacity. The Government now expects vaccine supply for new first doses to increase substantially over the weeks of 15, 22 and 29 March. Every site should expect to be able to receive, and use swiftly, around twice the level of vaccine supply previously available in each of these weeks (min. 800 doses per site) with precise details to be confirmed shortly on a site-by-site level. We are expecting that much of the vaccine supplied to the programme and allocated to sites in the weeks of 15 and 22 March will need to be used by the end of the month.

Sites will get a delivery on either Thursday 11, Friday 12 or Saturday 13 March, and further replenishment in the week of 15 March. Site level details will follow very shortly. In order to deliver this, we are asking you to take the following action:

  • Ensure you are in a zero-stock position on the day before your delivery on 11 to 13 March and that you plan to start the week of 22 March in the same zero stock position.
  • Upload NBS appointments from Sunday 14 March through to the end of the week of 29 March at 150% of the number you previously released per day (we suggest using week of 1 March as a benchmark). You should upload any further appointments as soon as your allocation of stock and actual delivery date is confirmed.
  • Ensure that you have planned to increase your workforce, drawing down on arrangements set out through system lead employers either through local recruitment or the national workforce offers. We encourage you to engage as soon as possible with your exact needs. We will be giving our Regional Leads the option of enabling direct booking of NHS Volunteer vaccination stewards via the GoodSam app for Primary Care led vaccination services. Regional Leads will be seeking assurance that the necessary security checks are in place for all volunteers working at Primary Care run centres and that all matters surrounding indemnity and arrangements for dealing with issues on site are in order.

We know that with the notice we are now providing you will prepare to protect even more patients against COVID-19. We are, as ever, hugely grateful for everything that you are doing to make the NHS-delivery of this programme the enormous success that it has been to date.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Waller | Director of Primary Care