Designated GP Covid vaccination sites will receive their supply of vaccines the day before they start vaccinations next week, NHS England has said.
Syringes, diluents and and post-vaccination record cards will be delivered together with the vaccine ‘the appropriate quantities’, the letter added.
Sites should have been informed of their specific delivery date by the end of yesterday.
The letter went on to stress that ‘to facilitate smooth delivery of the vaccine’, sites should ’ensure that your named registered Health Care Professional (HCP) who will receive the vaccine is there on the day’.
It also stressed that ‘vaccines need to be used quickly in the days following delivery and you should start your vaccination clinic as soon as possible’.
This comes as it was revealed on the weekend that MHRA now advises the vaccine be used within 3.5 days after defrosting rather than the initially suggested five days.
NHS England’s letter said: ‘We expect the remaining vaccine shelf life once delivered and stored at 2-8°C to be in the range of 86 hours (3 days 14 hours) to 99 hours (4 days 3 hours). Shelf life will be clearly marked on the vaccine box label.’
However, sites should have ‘sufficient vaccine storage space at 2-8 °C for up to 5 days’, it added.
Sites that receive an initial vaccine delivery on 14 December will receive their second delivery – for administering dose 2 to the same patients – on Monday 4 January, and those who receive the first dose on 15 December will receive the second shipment on 5 January.
Sites should have received registration and log-in details for their account to order vaccine resupply via the national ordering system, NHS England added.
NHS England’s letter also revealed that a GP will have to be on site at all times whenever vaccinations are taking place.