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Vaccine pay threat to services

LMCs are expressing concern about funding for enhanced services after pneumococcal vaccination was quietly 'slipped into' the list.

A letter from the Department of Health to PCTs said that 'as part of the implementation agreement with the BMA it has been agreed that the pneumococcal immunisation campaign should be integrated with the influenza directed enhanced service'.

Steve Mercer, chief executive of Avon LMC, told Pulse that the Government should have made it clear where the funding was going to come from.

'We weren't aware this was going to be an enhanced service. If it's going to come out of existing funds something else will have to go,' he said.

Patients eligible for vaccination in England will include all those over 75 from the start of the new contract and will be rolled out to all those over 65 from April 2005.

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