One in six doctors report COVID-19 vaccine sites disrupted by delivery failures

One in six doctors say local vaccination sites have been forced to rearrange sessions due to failed deliveries of COVID-19 jabs, according to a BMA survey.

Vaccination sites (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Vaccination sites (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

GPonline reported in January that GPs were experiencing problems with deliveries as orders were pushed back multiple times or cancelled at late notice - forcing surgeries to reschedule or cancel appointments.

The BMA survey reveals that 16% of doctors reported local sites had been forced to rearrange vaccination sessions because of disruption to deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter of doctors said local vaccination sites could have delivered more jabs if supply had been increased.

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Find out how the vaccination campaign is going: GPonline COVID-19 vaccination tracker

Last week health and social care secretary Matt Hancock praised GPs for their ‘monumental effort’ in delivering millions of COVID-19 jabs - and said the profession had been instrumental in helping the NHS 'stand firm' through the pandemic.

The latest government figures show that more than 22m people UK-wide have now had a first dose, while 1.1m have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Around three quarters of all vaccinations have been administered at GP-led local vaccination sites.

Despite the success of the rollout to date, the BMA findings suggest doctors feel the vaccination programme could be running more efficiently and has been slowed down by logistical issues.

GPs have previously warned that limited vaccine supplies arriving at primary care networks were slowing down rollout, and that mass vaccination centres should not be prioritised over local sites for deliveries.

Vaccine supplies

The government has said repeatedly that supply remains the 'rate limiting factor' for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which aims to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.

NHS England recently announced that deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine are set to double from 15 March compared with supplies available in early March, and will 'be sustained at a higher level for several weeks'.

Last week GPonline reported that NHS England would repay thousands of pounds in missing payments to GP practices this month - after the BMA warned practices delivering jabs 'cannot be expected to run on goodwill'.

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