GPs to be the 'bedrock' of flu vaccination programme

GPs will be the 'bedrock' of the swine flu vaccination programme with the first batches of the vaccine still expected to arrive this month, the CMO for England has said.

Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson

However, the WHO believes that the first swine flu vaccines will not be licensed for use until September at the earliest.

Speaking at a briefing in central London on Thursday, Sir Liam Donaldson said that the full details of the vaccination programme had not yet been worked out.

‘The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is still looking at the priority groups.'

Sir Liam said that GPs would be the bedrock of the vaccination campaign as they were also carrying out the seasonal flu campaign.

The DoH has also played down speculation that immunisation posts will be set up in every school. A DoH spokeswoman said: 'We have not said that schools will deliver the vaccination programme for swine flu.'

This comes as latest figures from the RCGP and HPA show a decline in the number of new cases of swine flu in England.

England recorded an estimated 30,000 cases last week, compared with 110,000 the week before.

Figures also showed that the introduction of the flu hotline has helped to relieve pressure on GPs, with 145 PCTs reporting that weekly GP consultation rates have decreased over the last week.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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