GPs do not need to observe patients for 15 minutes after administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
The MHRA said this comes as no reports of anaphylactic adverse reactions have so far been associated with the Oxford vaccine.
Patients vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine must still be kept for observation for 15 minutes after receiving their jab.
In an update to the standard operating procedures for vaccination, NHS England said: ‘For the Oxford/AstraZeneca there is not a requirement for 15 minutes observation unless this is indicated after clinical assessment.’
Vaccine administrators must still be ‘competent in the recognition and management of anaphylaxis’ and ‘have completed basic life support training and be able to respond appropriately to immediate adverse reactions’, according to the Oxford vaccine Patient Group Direction (PGD) that was published yesterday.
The vaccine should also not be given to anyone who has had a previous ‘systemic allergic reaction (including immediate onset anaphylaxis)’ to ‘any component of the vaccine’, or who had such a reaction to their first dose of the vaccine.
Pulse’s sister title Management in Practice was first to exclusively reveal the news yesterday.
A spokesperson told MIP: ‘The fifteen minute observation period time was introduced for the Pfizer vaccine guidance as a precaution following early reports of anaphylaxis following vaccination.
‘Such reports have so far not been observed with the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, as with all injectable vaccines, appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of an anaphylactic event following the administration of the vaccine.’
The news comes as some GP sites that had signed up to vaccinate patients with the Pfizer vaccine in December had to cancel their involvement for logistical reasons when the 15-minute observation period was instated.
The safety guidance was added by the MHRA 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.