GPs begin roll out of Covid-19 jab in the biggest immunisation programme in the history of the NHS
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Practices in more than 100 parts of the country are taking delivery of the vaccine today, Monday, December 14, with some kicking off their clinics this afternoon and the majority starting tomorrow.
Groups of health providers will work in vaccination centres in villages, towns and cities covering every part of the country.
Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine – but people have been warned that a rise in cases after Christmas socialising could disrupt the roll out of the jabs.
Along with other countries in the UK, residents of care homes in England will also receive their first vaccine later this week after distributors finalise new, stringent processes to ensure safe delivery of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.
Like hospital staff, who launched the world-leading campaign last week, practice teams are working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.
Dr Nikki Kanani, practising GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, said: “GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other primary care staff are eager to play their part in protecting people against coronavirus.
“As a GP I am proud to be part of this huge national effort to protect our patients against the virus and I would urge the public to come forward when they are called up for the vaccine.”
The latest phase of the vaccine roll-out is being co-ordinated by GP-led primary care networks with more practices and community pharmacies in other parts of England joining on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.
Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “There are also logistical challenges but general practice has an excellent track record of delivering mass vaccination programmes, and we want to use this experience to help protect people from Covid-19 and start getting life back to normal again.”