Good progress being made by GPs and teams delivering Covid vaccination programme, says College

Commenting on the status of the roll-out of the Covid vaccination programme at a community level, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and our teams – along with colleagues across the NHS - are working incredibly hard to vaccinate patients, starting with those most vulnerable to the virus, and we’re making good progress with more than 4m patients now protected from Covid-19.

"GP teams are vaccinating according to the JVCI’s priority list. If vaccine supplies are being diverted to areas where there is a higher proportion of higher priority patients not yet vaccinated, then that makes sense to ensure equity across the country - but practices need clear, reliable and timely communication about when to expect vaccine deliveries, and any last minute changes to plans should be minimised. Meticulous planning is going into running this programme, and when these are forced to change at the last minute, it is frustrating for staff and confusing and disappointing for patients.

"As long as there is supply, GPs and our teams will continue to vaccinate patients as quickly as we can. We’d urge patients in priority groups who have not yet been invited for vaccination to please be patient and not contact their practice, as this could overwhelm the service and ultimately slow things down.

"We’d also urge anybody who is offered a vaccine to come forward and have it. Vaccines only work if people have them, this is the best protection we have against Covid-19 and both the vaccines we are using in the UK have been rigorously tested to ensure they are safe and effective."

Further information

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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.