It is believed that Tesco has offered its distribution arm to help with the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine while Boots is opening three Covid-19 vaccination sites, in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester.

The supermarket giant’s subsidiary Best Food Logistics, food delivery and supply chain specialists, has offered its support, which could include the use of its refrigerated lorries and warehouses to move the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be stored in a fridge.

Covid-19 restrictions, which have shut down many pubs and restaurants, may have opened up some capacity which could be diverted to the vaccine programme.

Boots, the high street chemist, said its three vaccination sites, set up with the local clinical commissioning groups, are to open to patients this month and more could be on the way.

A spokesman told the PA news agency: “Boots has extensive knowledge and experience of mass vaccination (having completed over a million flu vaccinations last year, for example) and we have developed a model for Covid-19 vaccination that is aligned with our exceptional safety, clinical and operational standards.

“We stand ready to do much more and our national network of pharmacy expertise is prepped to support the NHS and the Government to accelerate the rollout of the vaccine.”

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