COVID Vaccination Programme an ‘enormous challenge’ but general practice has an ‘excellent track record’ of delivering mass vaccination programmes, says RCGP

Commenting on the start of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations being delivered in general practice, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following.

"GPs and our teams are about to embark on an enormous challenge delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the community. They will also deliver the expanded flu vaccine programme, and the usual care and services our patients rely on us for.

"There are also logistical challenges associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Particularly in terms of how it is stored and transported - and the safety precautions we need to make at vaccination sites. But general practice has an excellent track record of delivering mass vaccination programmes. We want to use this experience to help protect people from COVID-19 and start getting life back to normal again. We won’t be vaccinating everyone all at once - it will be a relatively small number at first. But as long as there is supply, GPs and our teams at selected sites will start vaccinating people this week, starting with our most vulnerable patients.

"Patients will be contacted and invited for vaccination. We would urge them not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination; we will contact them.

"Vaccines are the best protection we have against many serious, sometimes deadly diseases, and this one has been through a rigorous process to ensure it is safe and effective. We would encourage all patients to come forward for their vaccination, when they are invited, and to ensure they receive their second dose for maximum protection. Vaccines only work if people have them."

Further information

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 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.