Home Health Now Pfizer wants to start selling its Covid jab privately in chemists from next month after ministers announced ‘slimmed down’ roll-out

Now Pfizer wants to start selling its Covid jab privately in chemists from next month after ministers announced ‘slimmed down’ roll-out

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Pfizer has not yet revealed how much it will charge per dose, but pharmacists are already preparing to start offering a rival jab for around £45. Chains will set their own prices, as happens with flu vaccines

Brits will be able to buy private Pfizer Covid jabs from chemists from next month – if the pharmaceutical giant gets its way.

During the pandemic, jabs were only available on the NHS.

Today, however, the UK’s medicines regulator gave the green light for Pfizer’s Omicron mRNA jab to be sold on the high street.

Pfizer has not yet revealed how much it will charge per dose, but pharmacists are already preparing to start offering a rival jab for around £45. Chains will set their own prices, as is the case with flu shots.

The pharmaceutical giant is in talks with major pharmacy chains, such as Boots, to sell the vaccine to people who cannot get it on the NHS.

Pfizer has not yet revealed how much it will charge per dose, but pharmacists are already preparing to start offering a rival jab for around £45. Chains will set their own prices, as happens with flu vaccines

Acceptance of the autumn booster rollout stood at around 68.8 percent (pictured). As of December 2023, 7.8 million people had received a shot under the program.

Acceptance of the autumn booster rollout stood at around 68.8 percent (pictured). As of December 2023, 7.8 million people had received a shot under the program.

It comes as health officials indicated this week that eligibility for the NHS campaign will likely be reduced to save money.

Experts have long called for Covid vaccines to be sold privately since the threat of the virus began to fade.

Pfizer was one of the big winners of the pandemic. As lives and businesses crumbled amid lockdowns and disruptions to life during Covid, the New York City-based company became a household name.

During the height of the pandemic, everyone was eligible to receive the virus vaccine.

Officials were desperate to build immunity in the population, effectively creating a “wall” that would keep Covid at bay and allow the country to embark on post-lockdown life.

However, during the latest autumn and spring booster rollouts, vaccines have been restricted to at-risk Britons such as care home residents, the over-65s and frontline NHS workers.

As such, millions of people have not received a booster dose since late 2021.

The upcoming spring rollout is expected to be open to an even smaller group, with millions of people ages 65 to 74 likely no longer eligible.

Experts say offering Covid vaccines privately, as happens with the flu every winter, is a no-brainer. Even one of the Government’s own vaccine advisory panel members said it was a “good idea” ahead of its rollout in autumn 2023.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which monitors the safety of medicines used in Britain, today granted approval for providers outside the NHS to thaw and distribute Pfizer’s Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccine, which must be kept at temperatures of – 80°C before defrosting.

Once thawed, doses must be used within a tight time frame or they are wasted.

The Pfizer vaccine is attractive to non-NHS providers because it can come in a single-dose vial, meaning pharmacies do not have to prepare multiple shots at once.

It uses the same formulation that the regulator approved in September. Anyone over 12 years old can get it.

Pfizer said it will begin selling to pharmacies and private health providers in England, Scotland and Wales from March.

Dr. Gillian Ellsbury, the company’s primary care medical director, said: “As we move from a pandemic to an endemic state, we must ensure we are prepared to respond to this unpredictable and ever-evolving virus.”

‘Vaccines continue to be an important pillar to help prevent serious illness or hospitalization as a result of Covid.

“By allowing greater availability of the vaccine, we are making it easier to choose and access for those who are not eligible to receive it through the NHS program but want to have the option of a Covid vaccine.”

Last week, Pharmadoctor, a clinical services provider working with more than 8,000 pharmacies across the UK, announced it would be offering private Covid vaccines from April 1 for just £45.

The supplies will be of the Novavax vaccine.

Moderna has already said publicly that it is looking to offer its vaccine privately.

A 2022 study led by academics at Imperial College London suggests that Covid vaccines saved almost 20 million lives in the first year since countries began rolling out the shots, mostly in wealthy nations.

A 2022 study led by academics at Imperial College London suggests that Covid vaccines saved almost 20 million lives in the first year since countries began rolling out the shots, mostly in wealthy nations.

Ministers paid around £20 per dose to Pfizer during the height of the pandemic for its jabs. The company has not yet revealed how much it will charge privately.

But in August Moderna He said he expects to quadruple his own price when the jabs are offered privately.

It comes as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), which advises the Government on vaccination, indicated this week that an NHS booster program for autumn 2024 would likely be “smaller” than previous years.

The JCVI said Covid is now a “relatively mild illness” for the vast majority of people.

High population immunity now “allows the development of a more targeted program” targeting people who are most likely to become seriously ill from the disease.

While the “greatest threat” from Covid comes in winter – both in terms of risk of infection and pressure on the NHS – the virus “continues to emerge throughout the year”, the JCVI acknowledged.

It will continue to review “optimal” vaccination timing and frequency beyond spring 2024, it added.

The Government also said further advice on the autumn program is expected to be received “in due course”.

But uptake of the fall booster rollout has been slow, sitting at around 68.8 percent.

Millions of people still haven’t even received a single hit.

However, health officials remain concerned about the spread of the virus after a spike in cases in January attributed to a super-infectious variant called Juno.

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