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PHE publishes guidance on administering Covid vaccines



PHE has published new recommendations in guidance for health professionals on the use of the Covid-19 vaccines.

‘Immunisation against infectious disease’ – also known as the ‘Green Book’ – is a PHE guide for public health professionals administering vaccines in the UK.

The book’s newest chapter, published on Friday last week, contains information on the vaccines, such as how to store them, possible adverse effects and the schedule for UK rollout.

It focuses on two vaccines expected to be supplied in the UK first: the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The government has asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to consider emergency approval for both.

New training and information materials have also been published to help train the workforce who will deliver the vaccine including e-learning modules, training recommendations and a competency assessment tool.

The Green Book chapter also includes:

  • guidance on dosing
  • provisional priority groups recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), to help the NHS with its deployment planning
  • advice on vaccination of high-risk groups

Although, it includes guidance on potential adverse effects, it notes current evidence suggests these are mild and short-term.

It also states that all frontline healthcare staff eligible for seasonal influenza vaccination – including non-clinical staff who may have social contact with patients – should be offered the Covid-19 jab.

Head of immunisations at PHE Dr Mary Ramsay said: ‘Health and social care workers are highly skilled in delivering millions of vaccines every year, from flu to MMR.

‘They will be at the forefront of this exciting next step to help tackle the pandemic – our new guidance will support them in delivering any approved COVID-19 vaccines safely and at pace.’

Last month, GPNs told Nursing in Practice they were not asked their views on the DES contract for general practice to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine, despite its likely impact on their workload.

Earlier this year, four Nursing in Practice contributors discussed whether the jab should be mandatory for health and social care workers this winter.