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Matt Hancock asked to stop GPs and pharmacists ‘fighting’ for vaccines

Health secretary Matt Hancock has been urged to stop unhealthy competition between GPs and pharmacists over flu jabs, encouraging them to work together to achieve the expanded vaccination campaign.

Speaking at the House of Commons yesterday (2 September), Conservative MP Nigel Mills asked Matt Hancock to try to find a way of ‘incentivising [GPs and pharmacists] to work together and to stop fighting for every jab’.

The health secretary offered to speak to Mr Mills privately about any ‘specific problems he has found’ relating to competition between the two sectors.

‘We have got to make sure that [the flu vaccine programme] happens as effectively as possible,’ Mr Hancock said.

He added that it is ‘incredibly important that pharmacists, as well as GPs and others, are able to make the flu jab available’.

This winter, GPs and pharmacists will deliver a flu vaccination programme larger than ever before.

In England alone, 30m patients are being targeted, with more schoolchildren, the over 50s, and shielded patients and their households among the new cohorts eligible for a free vaccine.

The news comes as the Department of Health and Social Care launched a consultation last week which suggested that the workforce that can administer vaccines, including for flu and potentially Covid-19, be significantly expanded.