Since our last newsletter there have been a number of new or updated pieces of guidance that are applicable to the GP run parts of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The most significant updates are collected here:
- On 19 March NHS England wrote to GPs to say that the General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund would be extended until 30 September, having previously been due to finish at the end of March.
- On 17 March NHS England wrote to all bodies involved in the vaccination programme to say there was expected to be less stock available during a period commencing on 29 March.
- On 14 March the MHRA published a statement saying that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe to use, despite other European governments pausing its use in response to concerns raised over blood clots. This statement has had several updates since its initial publication.
- On 12 March NHS England published documents outlining the role of PCN led local vaccination sites in the second phase of the campaign, which involves vaccinating people aged 18–49. The main point being that if a PCN wished to leave the vaccination programme at this point it needed to inform NHS England by last Friday (19 March) of its intention to opt-out.
- On 8 March NHS England amended the vaccination programme’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to instruct practices to identify carers and invite them for vaccinations as part of cohort 6. This is the most recent revision of the SOP, the document itself can be found here.
- On 3 March NHS England wrote to practices outlining their expectations for PCN Covid vaccination sites between 8 March to 29 March.
- On 10 February the Court of Protection heard a case brought by the daughter of a woman who lives in a care home and lacks capacity, where the daughter did not wish her mother to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. The court concluded that the risk to the patient’s life and health, if she were not to have the vaccination, would be unacceptably high and that it was in her best interests to receive it. The full judgement can be read here.
- The DHSC has been providing regular information on which areas ‘surge testing’ is available as part of their work to track and isolate new Covid variants within the community. So far in the area’s covered by Londonwide LMCs, parts of the following boroughs have had surge testing offered to residents: Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Lambeth, Merton, Redbridge, Haringey, Harrow, Southwark and Wandsworth.