Boots UK will this week receive a limited quantity of the Meningococcal (MenB) Vaccination and begin a process of reinstating delivery of its popular Meningitis B vaccination service, which was halted in January 2016 due to a global vaccine stock shortage.
Boots UK first launched the service in November 2015 and is currently the only pharmacy to offer the vaccine privately, at the most accessible cost of £95.00 per dose. Two doses are required and this cost has remained consistent throughout the stock shortage. Aimed at helping parents who have children outside of the routine age range for the NHS programme, the first batch of stock will enable Boots UK to start vaccinating customers who registered their details to the Boots notification list as early as 28 June and a follow up batch is expected to become available in the next few weeks.
Since the launch and throughout the shortage, Boots UK has worked with the charity Meningitis Now to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of the disease and to educate parents and carers with babies and children at risk. The Boots Meningitis B service was shortlisted as a finalist for the Chemist and Druggist ‘Pharmacy Service of the Year’ award and Boots UK are also now donating £1 from every jab to Meningitis Now, to help make a difference to the important role they play in funding critical research into the disease and the support they give to families who have been affected by the disease.
Jamie Kerruish, Category Director at Boots UK Comments; “Due to the unprecedented demand for the service, we have been working hard with our supplier of the vaccine. Throughout the process, we have constantly listened to what our customers have told us and as a result we are delighted to have extended the service to an additional 300 plus stores which will enable 94.4% of the UK to access the vaccine at a Boots store offering the service within a 30 minute drive time.”
In order to best manage appointments in preparation of a new stock allocation, Boots UK opened up a registration facility on Boots.com with the aim of contacting these customers as soon as a new supply became available. The process of contacting all customers registered to notify them that a limited supply of stock is available will now begin.
Liz Brown CEO at Meningitis Now said; “We welcome the fact that supplies of the life saving Men B vaccine is returning to Boots UK and other private clinics and hope that this will put downward pressure on pricing and reduce the over-inflated fees being asked in some practices.
“Whilst we recognise and acknowledge that there is a large group of parents that are willing and able to pay for the vaccine privately, we know that there are many that can’t afford to pay, and for these people we will continue to push government through our ‘Beat It Now!’ campaign to vaccinate all at-risk groups, especially children up to the age of five, as part of the NHS programme.
“We are delighted that Boots UK will be making a donation for every child that they vaccinate with the Men B jab. This donation is most welcome as it will help fund the important research, work in to the disease.”
Boots UK fully supports the NHS programme, and while this vaccination routine helps to protect babies at an age when they are most at risk of developing MenB, a large number of Boots customers have expressed interest in the Boots Meningitis B vaccination service which offers an option to parents who want to consider vaccination for children who are outside of the age range for the NHS programme. The Meningitis B service is a perfect example of where Pharmacy can complement NHS services.
Whilst the vaccine is still in limited supply and until Boots UK receives full stocks of the vaccination, customers can register their details on www.boots.com/menb where they will be contacted by email with details on how to book an appointment as stock becomes available.