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Coronavirus jabs will be delivered at more High Street pharmacies across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes this week as the local NHS accelerates the biggest vaccination programme in its history.

Seven independent stores in Bedford will be the first of 29 community pharmacies to offer vaccinations protecting against COVID-19. Next week will see a further 22 community pharmacies come online in Luton and Milton Keynes.

Stores capable of delivering large volumes, while allowing for social distancing, have been selected to give the best geographical spread. Ensuring that the public in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes have more options to get their vaccination.

Those in the eligible cohorts now have another means of getting vaccinated. Currently options include large-scale vaccination centres, GP-led sites and now additional pharmacies.

In order to book a jab at these new vaccination sites residents can access the National Booking System via nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

People can book both jabs at the same time, and for those who cannot go online can call the service for free on 119 for extra support in doing so.

The phone line is available from 7am until 11pm each day.

Fiona Garnett, associate director medicines optimisation, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Pharmacies are at the heart of our local communities and the introduction of these new sites will make a big difference to our rollout programme by providing even more local, convenient places for those that are eligible to get their jab.

“We know that patients will value this and that pharmacies can continue to make a significant contribution to the national vaccination efforts.”