The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that frontline healthcare workers be vaccinated against swine flu ‘in parallel' with the clinical at-risk groups.
DoH guidance states that those staff eligible for the seasonal flu vaccine in England, as set out in the Green Book, will be eligible for the swine flu jab.
This includes staff who have regular clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care, such as GPs, dentists, midwives, nurses, paramedics and ambulance drivers, but not pharmacists or practice receptionists.
Instead, it will be left to individual PCTs to decide whether to offer the jab to community pharmacists and other relevant groups such as practice receptionists.
Speaking at a briefing in central London last week, Professor David Salisbury, the director for immunisation, said that ‘it is a matter for local negotiation in terms of who are considered to be front-line staff.'
A Healthcare Republic poll of GPs found most may reject the opportunity to have a swine flu jab.
More news from 25 August