'Full throttle' swine flu drive held back due to PCT diktat

GPs are being held back from going 'full throttle' on vaccinating at-risk patients against swine flu by PCT pressure to limit vaccine wastage, the RCGP has warned.

Delay due to lack of single jabs
Delay due to lack of single jabs

Professor David Salisbury, DoH director for immunisation, announced last week that one million patients in England have so far been vaccinated against swine flu. This accounts for just one in 10 patients in the priority groups and comes despite eight million doses of swine flu vaccine being distributed to practices and PCTs in England.

Across the UK, 10 million doses have been sent out to healthcare professionals.

Professor Salisbury said that he would have liked to have seen more patients vaccinated and called for GPs to go 'full throttle' to have as many patients in the priority groups vaccinated before Christmas, when he hopes vaccination can start on the under-fives.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the CMO for England, has said that he expects some GP practices to start vaccinating the under-fives as early as December.

But Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokesman, warned that GPs were being held back by the need to conserve vaccine supplies: 'The fact that the swine flu vaccine is not available in single units is a great handicap.

'We do see patients all the time and we could vaccinate opportunistically but, if we open a vial, we must ensure we have 10 patients to administer it to.

'GPs end up losing valuable opportunities to vaccinate because of the lack of single vaccine units and the urge not to waste any vaccine,' Dr Kassianos added.

'We are being monitored for vaccine wastage.'

He also admitted that GPs were still struggling to encourage all priority group patients to be vaccinated.

'There is still a misconception among a number of patients that the vaccine has not been tested enough and that its side-effects can be dreadful,' he said.

GP Online recommends

Swine Flu resource centre

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Some patients with post-COVID problems may need months of support from GPs

Some patients with post-COVID problems may need months of support from GPs

GPs must be ready to support patients with physical, psychological and social problems...

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

The government must scrap its high-risk ‘rule of six’ and introduce more stringent...

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

The average GP practice list has risen beyond 9,000 patients for the first time after...

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

Medical Protection's Dr Clare Devlin offers advice on how GPs should respond to parents...

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on COVID-19 risk assessments unless practices are guaranteed...

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs leading primary care networks (PCNs) have called for the partial suspension of...