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GPC lobbying MHRA to remove 15-minute observation period after Pfizer jab


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The BMA’s GP Committee is lobbying the MHRA for the removal of the requirement to observe patients for 15 minutes after vaccination with the Pfizer Covid jab.

The observation period was introduced in the first week of the vaccine rollout, following news that two healthcare professionals that were vaccinated on the first day suffered an allergic reaction.

It does not apply to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, but GPs giving patients the Moderna jab must also observe them for at least 15 minutes.

In its latest GPC bulletin, the BMA said: ‘We continue to question the necessity for the 15-minute observation period following a Pfizer vaccine, particularly for the second or subsequent doses.  

‘MHRA has informed us that the evidence related to this is regularly reviewed by their Expert Working Group, but as yet no change has been made.’

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended for the under-40s and rolled out in GP practices.

PCN-led vaccination sites were last month told they will be able to order extra Pfizer vaccine doses in order to follow new JCVI guidance that patients under 40 will be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca where this is operationally possible.

The BMA previously revealed that the Moderna vaccine is not being prioritised for use in general practice at the moment.

And the single-dose Covid vaccine by manufacturer Janssen was last week authorised for use in the UK, with doses expected to be available ‘from later this year’.

It comes as almost a quarter of GP partners in England say their primary care network (PCN) decided to opt out of phase 2 of the Covid vaccination campaign, citing intense workload pressures.

READERS' COMMENTS [2]

Vinci Ho 2 June, 2021 8:56 am

Sensible , to be kind after 2nd dose
At the same time , why it has to be 15 minutes , not 5 or 10 minutes after first dose , for instance ? what is the evidence based science ?

Subhash Chandra Bhatt 2 June, 2021 11:12 am

I have not seen anaphylaxis after Pfizer or az
But several fainting episodes and two minor seizures were seen and they too need supervision, observation and reassurance.
.