'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

Fitness to practise cases may remain unresolved after COVID-19 disruption

Fitness to practise cases may remain unresolved after COVID-19 disruption

Some fitness to practise cases may ‘prove impossible to resolve’ following delays...

GMC survey to assess COVID impact on GP training

GMC survey to assess COVID impact on GP training

Disruption to training for thousands of GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic will be...

GPs demand government review into unprecedented demand on general practice

GPs demand government review into unprecedented demand on general practice

GPs have demanded an urgent review into soaring demand on general practice, after...

Vaccination sites to offer Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to pregnant women

Vaccination sites to offer Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to pregnant women

Vaccination sites have been told to offer pregnant women the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19...

Fifth of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as UK hits 10m second dose milestone

Fifth of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as UK hits 10m second dose milestone

More than 10m people UK-wide have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine - just...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...