Pharm-Assist founders Ashley and Nikki Cohen have helped set up two vaccination centres and inoculated 7,900 people and counting.
Within just a few short weeks, north Leeds community couple Ashley and Nikki Cohen of Pharm-Assist set up two COVID vaccination sites with the capacity to vaccinate up to 2,500 people each week. As larger vaccination hubs were slowly being decommissioned, the Cohens’ pharmacies in both York and Seacroft were selected from hundreds of other sites to participate in additional vaccination clinics to help the national fight against coronavirus. These areas had lower uptake of the vaccine rollout and required local community sites to help get more adults vaccinated before the lockdown was lifted in July. Over just a few weeks they worked day and night in securing premises, loading clinics onto the national booking service, drafting local policies and procedures, recruiting and training staff to vaccinate, recruiting a pool of admin support to help with the data input, and have also gained the help of many community volunteers to ensure that each clinic has the right patient support.
At the time of writing, they have vaccinated around 7,900 people with their first doses and are currently working towards the COVID booster and flu campaign to be rolled out from September: “It has been a full-time job to simply manage these new services, and we have had to make some sacrifices as we still have a group of pharmacies to run on top of this vaccination programme,” said Ashley. “However, we have been inundated with people who have wanted to help.
“It’s been exhausting setting up something like this from scratch in such a short time. We have both been working round the clock to get everything set up in time for our first clinic in June at Seacroft, but it’s enormously rewarding to be able to play our part in the programme.”