GPs likely to deliver Covid-19 vaccine

The BMJ is reporting that the NHS has published an agreement to enable general practices to start delivering a covid-19 vaccine from as early as next month.

A new directed enhanced service (DES), published 10 November, says practices will be expected to coordinate and deliver covid-19 vaccinations collaboratively and at scale in primary care networks.

The draft deal, agreed between NHS England and the BMA’s GP committee, says practices will initially need collectively to nominate a single site per network to deliver vaccinations, with additional sites possible as supply increases. Designated sites will be expected to deliver vaccines seven days a week between 8 am and 8 pm if supply allows.

Practices will be paid £12.58 (€14.15; $16.69) per vaccination. This is 25% more than the current £10.06 practices receive for an influenza vaccination, in recognition of the need for extra training, post-vaccine observation, and other associated costs. Practices will need to provide most of the required staff from their own workforce.

GPs should plan on the assumption that each patient will need to have two doses of the vaccination, subject to confirmation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the DES said.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said last week that initial priority will be given to older people, health workers, and care home staff, in line with JCVI recommendations. GPs will be required to vaccinate care home staff, and patients and housebound patients as part of home visits, the DES said.