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NHSE: Some GP practices will have to vaccinate patients on Christmas Day

GPs to be ‘compensated appropriately’ to give booster jabs through Bank Holidays

GP practices in some areas will need to provide Covid vaccinations on Christmas Day, NHS England has confirmed to Pulse.

NHS England emphasised that it will not be an explicit requirement that all practices will have to open on Christmas Day when the DES is published later this month.

But they said the nature of the vaccine means that some GP-led vaccination centres will inevitably need to provide the vaccinations over bank holidays during the festive period.

The letter informing practices about the Covid vaccination programme had said that vaccination sites ‘will need to be able to deliver a vaccination service seven days per week including bank holidays between 8am and 8pm’.

When Pulse pressed NHS England on this, a spokesperson said: ‘Despite the complexities, the NHS is putting plans in place so that it is ready to deliver a vaccine as soon as one becomes available. Potential covid-19 vaccines require specific handling and so if necessary, practices will need to have the ability to deliver 12 hours a day, seven days a week to avoid any waste.’

They told Pulse that some areas may need to vaccinate patients on Christmas Day based on clinical need and vaccine availability – this will be as part of the wider vaccination programme.

The Pfizer vaccine is set to come in batches of 975, and in vials of five doses Pulse understands – and not 1,000, as we originally reported – and each batch will need to be used within five days.

The batches will be stored centrally at temperatures of minus 70 degrees, and will need to be kept by GP vaccination sites at temperatures of 2-8 degrees.

Dr Nikki Kanani clarified the position in a tweet:

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Jeremy Platt 12 November, 2020 5:01 pm

What on earth are they on about? Just give us the resources, and let us get on with it! Why do they have to keep on micromanaging?

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David Banner 12 November, 2020 5:13 pm

Ho Ho Ho……..

Kevlar Cardie 12 November, 2020 5:17 pm

Firkin comes but once a year, and when it does I’m firkin workin’.

Clare Dyer 12 November, 2020 5:22 pm

and if the patients wont book in?

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David Church 12 November, 2020 5:43 pm

What is the hourly rate that staff will be able to charge for going to work on a statutory bank holiday that is NOT in their employment contract?
Will Nurses and Doctors get a similar percentage bonus?
or only multinational accountancy firms who decide which day it will be given?
and don;t have a clue about how to run a vaccination campaign – which punters will want to give up their christmas day to drive to the area nominated GP surgery to get theor vacination, and thus not be able to drink until afterwards?

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Turn out The lights 12 November, 2020 5:56 pm

Dont think so.

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Brent Teelucksingh 12 November, 2020 6:08 pm

Which patients do they think are going to take time out of their Christmas Day to go for a vaccine? Imagine having a serious reaction on and landing up in hospital on Christmas Day! Numties!

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Keith M Laycock 12 November, 2020 6:20 pm

You don’t need a medical degree, a nursing degree, or any degree to give ‘a shot’. Tell the “spokespersons’ to FO and get the MPs et al out on the job – they are adept at giving the needle.

Mr Marvellous 12 November, 2020 6:33 pm

To the bonkers GPs that are still considering this:

Are you still confident this can be delivered at the cost of flu jabs + 25%?

I suspect you’ll literally be paying to come to work…..

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Nelly Tuneva-King 12 November, 2020 6:58 pm

When you find a “nurse replicator”, then we can deliver on the DES! Currently, we have 4 off. Some due to covid, some due to self isolation! We are behind of the flu, let alone covid jab! Give me strength! No amount of money will make me work on Christmas Day!

John Glasspool 12 November, 2020 7:06 pm

Walk away from the whole DES. It’s an elephant trap that the BMA will be delighted to throw you into.

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John Glasspool 12 November, 2020 7:09 pm

I suppose if you are Jewish, Muslim or Hindu, plus any number of other religions, you might not be too worried about Christmas/? As it happens, I’m a Christian, but I hate it. It’s got nothing to do with the Miracle of the Incarnation for 90% of the population. I just go to church. My wife (atheist) and I then go to the beach with the dog and sarnies for lunch. It’s great. No cards, no presents, no tree, no decorations. Try it; it’s amazingly liberating. And no rubbish to clear up and put away a few days later.

terry sullivan 12 November, 2020 7:38 pm


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terry sullivan 12 November, 2020 7:40 pm


Hello My name is 12 November, 2020 7:45 pm

John Glasspool: I have been looking for a life coach, and you sound like you may be just the man.

Stuart Vas 12 November, 2020 8:21 pm

Ha ha ha ha!!! We’ve decided NO, so we won’t!! Have fun those of you who are won over by “moral imperative”

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John Graham Munro 12 November, 2020 9:07 pm

Dr. tuneva-king.
i am sure you’ll find an amount that will persuade you to work on Christmas Day—I did.

John Glasspool 12 November, 2020 9:07 pm

Yes, like Scrooge!

John Clements 12 November, 2020 9:58 pm

Im sure the surgeons whose elective work has been cancelled will be only delighted to help out over the Christmas period.

Dave Kew 12 November, 2020 10:32 pm

Be a lot of wasted vaccines due to DNAs. Xmas is for Jeebers.

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Turn out The lights 13 November, 2020 7:24 am

I am also sure all those NHSE,CCG and CQC bod who have been working from home and doing zoom meeting in their pant can get off their bloated covid stone behind and come and join us after all ALL hand to the pump.This aint no flu clinic this is a logistical mess.If the establishment hasn’t already gathered the GP work force is very very pis@@d off at the moment and the majority will not cooperate in less the price is right.At the moment its an insult.

John Glasspool 13 November, 2020 8:13 am

STOP PRESS NEWS! The T&Cs have just been announced and for once they are better than what people had thought. I’ve just had an email from the LMC. NO, you DON’T have to do it on Christmas Day.
You will be paid £12 + per SHOT, so no penalty for non attendees.
Indemnity cover.
NO having to wait for 15 mins.

Stuart Hazle 13 November, 2020 9:21 am

Yes, I can see the hordes of people out on Xmas day morning, clamouring for a vaccine, inadequately tested, with unknown adverse side effects. They’ll be breaking down the doors!

Patrufini Duffy 13 November, 2020 2:33 pm

Put it your diary. Opt out of your PCN-DES Mar-Apr 2021.