Practices will start administering Covid vaccines in the week commencing 14 December, NHS England has said.
The notification letter to start the vaccination programme was sent out on Friday evening by NHS England medical director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani and director of primary care Ed waller giving ten days’ notice for starting the vaccines.
It said that CCGs will begin notifying the first PCN groupings to start administering the vaccine on Monday.
The first cohort that GPs will begin vaccinating is the over-80s.
The letter said: ‘We expect to stand up a number of designated local vaccination services (the first based on PCN groupings) to start administering Covid-19 vaccinations in the week beginning 14 December. This first wave of sites will be the beginning of a general mobilisation of practices from their designated sites.
‘Each site stood up would need to deliver 975 doses to priority patients during the week beginning 14 December –those in the over 80 cohort who can attend the site for vaccination, and taking into account other significant factors, clinical or otherwise, which may increase risk. The vaccine would need to be used quickly in the days following delivery. We can guarantee 3.5 days of vaccination following delivery, with storage at 2-8°C.’
Once the sites have been notified, NHS England will write to the groupings setting out full details of vaccine supply dates, delivery of other consumables and equipment to the site, and the process for assuring readiness before delivery of vaccines
NHS England will also begin delivering fridges and IT equipment.
It addresses GP workload, stating that ‘urgent care will continue to be provided across general practice’. However, it adds that the Covid programme will be the ‘top priority’ on the days that the vaccine is being delivered.
The letter concludes: ‘This is a hugely exciting moment for general practice and you who will be playing a key part in this important programme.’