Accurate, comprehensive vaccine data vital so issues can be identified and addressed, says RCGP

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs and a practising GP in East London, said:

“GPs are working exceptionally hard to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme to vulnerable and at-risk patients across the community.

“There are bound to be teething problems when delivering a completely new vaccine at this scale and at this speed, especially with the complex Pfizer BioNtech vaccine, but the process seems to be running well overall and our members are reporting very positive take-up rates.

“GPs are following NHS England guidelines on prioritising patients, but time is of the essence with this vaccine.  In cases where patients do not turn up for their vaccination, GPs will use their clinical judgement and take sensible measures to ensure that supplies are used. These may include contacting other vulnerable patients or frontline healthcare professionals who are also on the Covid-19 vaccination priority list. It is concerning if priority patients are not coming forward for whatever reason and that’s why we are keen to see accurate data for GP practices.

“GPs have an excellent track record in delivering mass vaccination programmes such as seasonal flu and childhood vaccines and practices are working hard to make the process as swift and as seamless as possible to protect their patients. We have every confidence that the skills, experience, and resilience of GPs will prove invaluable to the success of the overall programme and the safety of our patients over the coming months.  

“In turn, it is essential that GPs are given access to the necessary support and resources. They must receive timely information so they can plan appropriately and continue to vaccinate and protect vulnerable patients quickly and efficiently. It’s also important that, where appropriate, any vaccine wastage is included in the data so that we can see the scale of this issue and therefore address it.”

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.