Last minute changes to vaccine supply

Responding to reports that some GP vaccination sites have not received vaccine supply, or experienced last minute cancellations of deliveries, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard delivering vaccines in the community and as long as there is supply, the approval of the Oxford vaccine the MHRA will escalate the scale and pace of the programme.

“We need to be delivering upwards of 2m vaccinations a week – this is a challenging but necessary target. To do this, vaccine centres need a sustained supply of vaccine, and reliable information about when deliveries will be made, with as much notice as possible, so that GPs and our teams can make necessary and feasible preparations – including booking in some of our most elderly and vulnerable patients. Last minute changes to vaccine delivery schedules, as some GPs are reporting, only create confusion amongst patients and a lot of hard work for practices that need to swiftly adapt their plans, and must be minimised.

“If we are going to vaccinate more than 13m patients by mid-February, we also need to urgently expand our workforce. GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to vaccinate as many people as possible, starting with our most vulnerable patients. This is alongside delivering the expanded flu vaccination programme, and the usual care and services our patients rely on us for. We can’t do it alone This is why unnecessary red tape facing retired GPs and other healthcare professionals wanting to return to service to deliver the vaccine, needs to be cut. We need to see urgent action, so it’s been good to hear both the Health Secretary and Prime Minister acknowledge the need for this to be addressed.

“This is a with a new, and complicated, vaccine programme being rolled out at pace. It’s vital that GPs and their teams on the ground, running vaccination centres, are listened to and if they have concerns, they are quickly addressed.”

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

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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.