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Boots celebrates one-year anniversary of first COVID-19 vaccine

17 January 2022
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Boots is celebrating the milestone one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine administered in a Boots UK store in Halifax in January 2021.

Since administering the vaccination to its first patient, Boots supported the NHS by administering an incredible 1.4 million vaccinations at more than 80 stores in the UK, continuing to place Boots at the heart of community pharmacy and support for the NHS.

Natasha Eastwood is store manager at the Boots in Halifax that first administered vaccinations to the community there. We spoke to her to find out more about what one year of COVID-19 vaccinations means to the store’s team members.

“I can honestly say the past year has been incredible for me and my team to have had the opportunity to play such a huge part in the fight against COVID-19 . Still to this day, one year on we are blown away by the difference that we are making to our patients and community. We all have so many memories of laughter, tears, love and relief from patients over the year which will stay with us forever. Through all my time with Boots I never anticipated that my role would lead me to playing such an important part in the nation's response to this pandemic.”

In 12 months, the Halifax store along with the rest of Boots vaccination sites has moved through administering first and second jabs to also delivering booster vaccinations. In December, Natasha’s store was called on once again to increase booster vaccine take-up in the community and her store team rose to the challenge.

“We have currently delivered just over 63,000 vaccines which looking back is just phenomenal and incredibly humbling. I am so honoured and immensely proud of my whole team’s effort, commitment and passion for this vaccine roll out program and look forward to continuing to be at the forefront of the nations’ vaccination efforts.”

Alongside administering COVID-19 vaccinations, Boots is also delivering its biggest flu jab programme ever this winter season. Across the UK, Boots has delivered a record two million flu vaccinations in the first quarter of fiscal year 22 – an increase of more than 150% on last year. The success is credit to the outstanding efforts of team members on the frontline in driving forward both vaccination programmes simultaneously.

Asif Aziz, Director of Healthcare Services for Boots UK, was recently awarded an OBE for his work in enabling Boots to support the NHS during the pandemic, with the Boots vaccination programme the pinnacle of that work. Asif said: “To date, we have administered over 1.4m  COVID-19 vaccines in our vaccination hubs and in consultation rooms.  

“We started administering COVID-19 vaccinations in our Halifax store a year ago and we haven’t stopped. In December, we responded to the government's booster campaign to protect against Omicron by transforming many of our flu vaccination centres to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and doubling our appointment capacity.

“I'm incredibly proud of our all of our pharmacy team members in our vaccinations hubs and stores. They continue to deliver great care to help keep their communities safe, playing such an important role in the fight against this pandemic and continuing to support the NHS.”

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Boots UK is the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK and its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good. With over 2,200 stores and a team of around 51,000 colleagues, of which approximately 5,600 are registered pharmacists, the Boots brand has been at the heart of local communities across the UK since 1849. Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care and being the first choice for pharmacy, beauty, healthcare and wellness, alongside offering its innovative portfolio of product brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin.

Boots UK is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) – a global leader in retail pharmacy, impacting millions of lives every day through dispensing medicines, and providing accessible, high-quality care. More company information is available at boots-uk.com.