The Moderna Covid vaccine will be rolled out to GP-led sites from this week, although not all PCNs will be included, NHS England has said.
In a letter sent to GPs yesterday, NHS England said they will be able to order Moderna vaccines from tomorrow ‘at the earliest’ and record administration of a booster dose from 15 October.
Sites should prepare to begin vaccinating patients from the day after their scheduled vaccine delivery date, it added.
However, the document said: ‘It will not be possible to allocate the Moderna vaccine to all PCN-led vaccination sites and so regions should liaise with vaccination site leads before sites prepare to receive the vaccine.’
PCN sites will need to complete an assurance process before delivering the vaccine and staff must undergo a 30-minute online training session followed by a 15-minute assessment, as well as training on booster doses, it added.
It remains unclear how many GP-led sites will be able to deliver the Moderna vaccine.
Vaccination sites approved to administer Moderna must order a minimum of one pack of 10 vials, which equates to 200 booster half doses or 100 first/second doses, NHS England said.
The letter added that sites may be unable to draw a full 20 booster doses from a Moderna vial ‘depending on the technique used’ and recommended they consider ordering ‘up to 10% more vaccine’ than they expect to need.
The Moderna vaccine will be delivered thawed, must be kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to 30 days and should be removed from the fridge 15 minutes before use, NHS England said.
Due to the ‘risk’ of having different dosing, the ‘storage, preparation and administration’ of Moderna booster doses should be given in separate vaccination cubicles to Moderna primary course doses – including third doses for immunosuppressed patients, it added.
Previously, the Moderna vaccine was only supplied to hospital-led vaccination centres and community pharmacy sites.
Meanwhile, booster jabs are being rolled out to all patients in groups 1-9 of the first phase of the Covid vaccination campaign from six months after their second dose, according to JCVI advice.
The JCVI recommended the use of an mRNA vaccine for the booster campaign – a full dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the first instance or half dose of the Moderna vaccine as an alternative.
It advised that eligible adults over 18 should be given the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for their third jab, while the Pfizer jab is ‘preferred’ for those aged 12-17.
GPs have been told to prioritise offering Covid boosters to care home patients and staff by 1 November and are encouraged to co-administer the vaccine with the flu jab.