Morrisons to offer coronavirus vaccines in store car parks

Morrisons is to offer coronavirus vaccines in 50 of its store car parks in a new initiative which will be run by Pharmacy2U.

Morrisons has not introduced limits on how much people can buy

The vaccines will be available in three Morrisons stores, including the Wakefield store, from Monday and a further 47 sites will be made available to the Government.

The Pfizer vaccine will be given initially, but the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be rolled out over time.

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Morrisons' chief executive, David Potts, said the company's assets will be “at the disposal of the country”.

"We have three stores that go live on Monday where if you turn up in the car park and put your arm out, somebody will stick a needle in it," he said.

“We’ll have three stores operating from Monday January 11 and we have offered up another 47 subject to requirements of the country and the availability of the vaccine. We'll be providing the space."

Mr Potts added that, despite the introduction of new national lockdowns in England and Scotland, Morrisons has not introduced limits on how much people can buy.

“We haven’t got limits on things like pasta and flour and all of those things that people seem to stock up on,” he said.

“I think we’ll see how the British people handle the news. Clearly we can turn it on fairly sharpish and it’s really making sure that everyone has stock.”

The first lockdown in March saw supermarket shelves across the country stripped bare and the grocers are keen to avoid similar scenes.

Mr Potts said the new lockdowns – including the order for vulnerable people to shield – are likely to affect the same 2,500 workers who were forced to shield during the March lockdown.

The firm will spend £10m as a result of extra Covid-related costs and it has seen a fall in takings due to cafe closures and fuel as fewer journeys were made.

Despite this, sales at the grocer soared 9.3 per cent over the past three weeks, which included the key Christmas trading period, compared with the same time a year ago.

The firm reported an increase in sales in November due to remaining open as an “essential” retailer during the second national lockdown in England.

This was particularly noticeable in Tier 4 areas, under the toughest restrictions, with Mr Potts suggesting a lack of activities meant that bored customers were going on shopping trips.

There had been fears that some products might not make it to supermarket shelves due to the Covid-19 border closures in December between the UK and France and subsequently over Brexit fears.

However, Mr Potts said products have continued to arrive without delays.

“On Brexit, the volume crossing the Channel is obviously low at this time of year, so I think any delay on paperwork and process post December 31 is yet to be felt or visible. So far we’ve not seen any delays," he said.