GP-led Covid vaccination sites will receive an extra payment of £1,000 for rebooking second jabs following the announcement that all risk group patients should now have them sooner.
In a letter to all general practices and PCNs, NHS England said payment would be made once CCGs had confirmed that a reasonable effort had been made to rebook patients and that a reasonable proportion of patients had been re-booked.
It follows advice on Monday (15 May) from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that all second doses of people in groups 1 to 9 who had a Covid-19 vaccine on or after May 25 should have their appointment moved from 12 to eight weeks (56 to 63 days).
The Government made the decision in a bid to tackle rising cases of the Indian (B1.617.2) variant in parts of the country.
NHS England also said it was asking CCGs and ICSs to offer all possible support to PCNs in rebooking second jabs for high risk groups including bringing in extra workforce and running additional clinics where needed.
Revised second dose supply delivery schedules will be issued to take account of the JCVI advice, NHS England said.
Guidance has also now been updated for Covid vaccination sites on how to manage the changes as well as new rules around use of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for pregnant women and those aged 40 or under.
Those running GP-led sites need to ensure that enough second-dose appointments are left on any given day to accommodate those in groups 1 to 9 who need to rebook as well as those who haven’t yet booked a second slot, it said.
And more clarification has also been given on when it may be appropriate to give an alternative vaccine for a second dose.
In most cases the same vaccine will be given in the second dose as the first. But exceptional circumstances include if the first product received is unknown or if they received a brand that is not available in the UK, if the patient initially had a Pfizer vaccine in a clinic but has since become housebound or anyone who experienced anaphylaxis with the first dose and has been advised to have a different vaccine by an allergy specialist.
If there are vaccine supply problems locally systems should develop plans to share vaccine or help patients book an appointment at another location rather than offer a different vaccine.