GPs prevented from going 'full throttle' on swine flu jabs

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

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 get as many patients in the priority groups vaccinated before Christmas before starting on under fives.

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.'

For the full story, read this week's issue of GP dated 4 December

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