Pharmacist Leah Davies supported the Covid vaccination programme when she administered jabs at her local independent, Appleton Village Pharmacy in Cheshire. She tells Independent Community Pharmacist her story...
With the mass Covid-19 vaccination programme now firmly underway, a handful of community pharmacies have begun to play a vital role in administering the vaccine locally to thousands, including one of the first six pharmacies in England to play its part, Appleton Village Pharmacy in Cheshire.
A pharmacist by trade, I have spent many years vaccinating patients against flu, so as the Covid-19 vaccination began to roll out, I thought my years of experience could be put to good use.
After looking into how I could get involved, I was directed to the NHS website where I registered my interest. Having been accepted, I began training so I was ready to go when called upon…and I wasn’t waiting long.
Working alongside others on Saturdays (having completed a full week of work during the week), I’ve attended Appleton Village Pharmacy every week since the call and have no intention of stopping.
I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted. To be administering vaccinations in one of the first six pharmacies in England deployed, is a proud achievement.
Being able to put my years of vaccination experience to good use means a lot and it’s also great to be able to work collaboratively with our members and support them in the vaccination cause.
The more vaccines we can administer, the quicker our communities become protected. The atmosphere at Appleton Village Pharmacy has been electric – everyone is in good spirits, seeing the light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.
Many of the patients, particularly in the earlier weeks, were vulnerable and were made up of people with underlying health conditions, the elderly or frail. They have all been so grateful and couldn’t thank myself and the pharmacy team enough.
It’s been a real reminder why I love pharmacy so much – that feeling of having an impact on a patient’s life is so humbling.
It has certainly helped with my office-based, day-to-day job too, as it has reminded me of what it’s like in the pharmacy environment, allowing me to think more from a pharmacy-first perspective.
Despite the butterflies in my stomach that I started to feel on a Friday night, anticipating what may be to come during Saturday’s shift, I now spend my Sundays absolutely shattered but with a huge sense of positivity and achievement in helping to fight this terrible disease.
The roll-out of the vaccinations feels like a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us and is something that I am extremely proud to say I am a part of. While so many more community pharmacies are ready, willing and able to vaccinate – only waiting for the green light to play their part – I would encourage anyone considering getting involved at one of the approved vaccination sites to go ahead and do it.
The feeling is so rewarding.
Leah Davies is professional and patient services manager for Phoenix and a Numark member.