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Exclusive: NHS in discussions with BMA and others around December Covid vaccine programme

Exclusive: NHS in discussions with BMA and others around December Covid vaccine programme

Exclusive There are talks taking place at the highest levels around mobilising for a potential Covid vaccine from December, with some sources putting the chances of the programme being started this year as ’50/50′, Pulse has learnt.  

Pulse has learnt from a number of sources that discussions are taking place between NHS England, the BMA and other groups over who will be administering vaccines and who will be the first cohorts to receive the vaccine.

There is no guarantee the vaccine will be ready by December, but there is growing optimism around this being a possibility. One source close to the discussions told Pulse the feeling is ’50/50′.

There is currently no agreement over who is going to administer the vaccines, including whether it will be GPs and the Government has told Pulse that it will ‘use the military’ if needed.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said in a televised briefing to the nation on 21 September that a vaccine could become available before the end of this year, but said it was ‘much more likely’ that it would happen ‘in the first half of next year’.

However, Pulse has learnt that there is optimism around the first cohorts being given a vaccine in December.

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There have been discussions around whether the first people to be vaccinated will be care home patients and their staff, or health care professionals, including GPs.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation last month said people living in care homes and the staff looking after them should be at the very top of the list for a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Healthcare and social care workers would be next in the list of priorities, according to its updated analysis of who is most at risk.

In July, Pulse reported the UK Government had ordered 65m syringes from one manufacturer as part of preparations for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘The Government will do everything needed to roll out a successful vaccine quickly and safely.

‘An enormous amount of planning and preparation has already taken place including ensuring we have adequate provision, transport, PPE and logistical expertise.

‘We are working closely with the NHS and we will use the military in the planning of logistics as necessary, as they have already gone to great lengths to successfully support our operational efforts.’



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Anonymous GP 15 October, 2020 11:11 pm

The only chance of 2020 Vaccine is if we secure Sputnik V

Turn out The lights 16 October, 2020 7:30 am

BMA doesn’t represent GPs,and an awful lot of juniors its let down.Dont bother with subs you get nothing back.

Kay Saunders 18 October, 2020 5:42 pm

Anyone else spotted this? Nightingale vaccination Centres.
The next outsourcing farce in preparation? Who will end up dealing with the confusion I wonder?
“Pharma firms have already made millions of doses of some of the drugs in trial, but distribution may be more complicated. Many vaccines need to be kept chilled before use, so seven “Nightingale Vaccination Centres” have been found, including Leeds Town Hall and Woking Leisure Centre, according to the Economist.”

David jenkins 22 October, 2020 11:54 am

gosh – this is very complicated. turn the radio off because i’m concentrating very hard.

vaccines may have to be chilled during transport.

what shall we do – i’ve never come across this situation before.

perhaps they could distribute them via refrigerated transport – er, like they do other vaccines !

Richard Greenway 23 October, 2020 3:27 pm

The government hasn’t be able to mobilise enough flu vaccine for the 50-65s yet- keeps kicking this can down the road. If it does it won’t be til November/ December. And this is licenced and currently in production. What hope of mobilising a brand new vaccine 1 month later? I can’t wait for the bunfight as we get the odd 100 vaccines delivered in for 10,000 patients.

terry sullivan 5 November, 2020 11:27 am

say no–bma does not represent doctors in normal practice–how many gps are members?