One in 10 GPs are yet to receive their first dose of the Covid vaccine, the BMA has revealed.
It pledged to survey members twice a week to track vaccination progress and ‘hold the Government to account for any shortfall’.
According to the latest BMA data, almost a tenth (9%) of GPs had not yet received their first dose of the vaccine as of the 16 January.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of the 1,551 GP respondents have received their first dose, while the remaining 17% have received both.
The BMA said second doses must ‘must ramp up extensively in the coming weeks to ensure the medical workforce has full vaccine protection’.
However, GPs have been banned from delivering second doses – both to patients and to their own staff.
But the RCGP said that any ‘suggestion’ that vaccines should be thrown away should be ‘dismissed’, following reports that some unused vials of were being wasted rather than given as second doses.
RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said: ‘Any suggestion that usable Covid-19 vaccines should be thrown away instead of being used to vaccinate should be dismissed out of hand.
‘Our vaccine supply is precious and where possible, every dose should be used to protect patients from this terrible virus.’
He added: ‘We’re following NHS England guidelines to prioritise patients in accordance with the JCVI’s prioritisation list.
‘In cases where there may be spare vaccines, such as when patients do not turn up for their vaccination, GPs will use their clinical judgement and take sensible measures, such as contacting other vulnerable patients or frontline healthcare professionals, who are also on the Covid-19 vaccination priority list, to ensure that use of supply is maximised.’
The health secretary has promised that all GPs and their staff will be vaccinated by 15 February – and hopefully ‘sooner’.