Details of booster campaign needed 'urgently', says RCGP

Responding to news from the Department of Health and Social Care about a COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign this Autumn, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following:

“GPs and our teams have worked incredibly hard to protect as many patients as possible from COVID-19. The vaccination is our route out of this pandemic, and 75% of the programme has been delivered in primary care.

“The success of the COVID vaccination programme and last year's expanded flu vaccine programme has been the result of meticulous planning by GPs, our teams and colleagues across the health service. It’s good to have clarity that there will be a COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign this Autumn, but we still need to know how this will work – in particular, how it will work alongside the annual flu vaccination programme and what the role of general practice will likely be – as a matter of urgency, so that plans and decisions can be made appropriately.

“General practice has demonstrated how central it is to a successful vaccination programme, but it is already under intense pressure delivering record numbers of patient consultations and this must be taken into account. A booster campaign will need to be accompanied by a sustainable workforce, perhaps using trained non-clinical staff as vaccinators alongside GPs and our teams, to ensure usual services can continue as we approach what is likely to be a very busy winter for general practice."

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574
Out of hours: 020 3188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.