NHS England’s chief executive has said he hopes that Covid and flu vaccines could be ‘combined into a single vaccine’ by next winter.
Sir Simon Stevens made the comments at a parliamentary hearing on the vaccine programme today in response to a question on what ‘opportunistic interventions’ can be done while patients are attending for vaccinations.
Conservative MP for Bosworth Dr Luke Evans, who is also a GP, asked Sir Simon ‘what plans are set in place to get opportunistic public health interventions like stopping smoking [and] obesity into those big centres’.
This could be ‘the one time’ the NHS is able to reach people it ‘has never been able to have contact with’, Dr Evans said.
Speaking as a witness, Sir Simon said he would put the suggestion to his colleagues but that ‘GPs locally are already taking this opportunity’.
He added: ‘Frankly, down the line, I would hope that not only other opportunistic contact [takes place] as you described, but it would be great if Covid vaccine and flu vaccine ends up being combined into a single vaccine, which we might see for if not this winter then future winters as well.’