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QOF call over pneumococcal vaccine

Researchers are calling for QOF points for pneumococcal vaccination after finding low uptake rates in patients with clinical risk factors.

Their audit of 15 practices found average uptake was 59 per cent in patients over the age of 80, but only 36 per cent in those with high-risk conditions.

Practices achieved 100 per cent uptake in patients with asplenia, but only around 25 per cent for those with renal disease.

The Department of Health recently signalled its determination to drive up uptake of pneumococcal vaccination as part of preparations for a possible flu pandemic.

Study leader Dr Matthew Thalanany, director of public health at Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford PCT, said: 'It's on the age groups we have done very well, but on the high-risk clinical groups we could do better.

'I would really like to compliment GPs in achieving high rates. The other [issue] is an educational point for them.'

Dr Thalanany, who presented the research at last week's NICE conference in Birmingham, said: 'High-risk clinical groups should be considered for inclusion in the QOF.'

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