Looking through the NHS England primary care update this morning, there was the usual stuff: a wellbeing initiative, news around charities working together, a thank you from Matt Hancock to GPs working hard. (I am not deliberately being snarky about this – well, maybe the bit about Hancock).
There was also a link to a letter on the next stages of the vaccination programme. Towards the bottom of page 2 of that letter comes the line: ‘From the week of 15 March we are now asking systems to plan and support all vaccination centres and local vaccination services to deliver around twice the level of vaccine available in the week of 1 March.’
The letter suggested greater access to extra staff to support vaccination centres in carrying this out.
Putting to one side how this announcement feels a little buried, I have my worries about this. I fear vaccine fatigue – Long Vaccine, if you will – may soon be setting in.
We held a fascinating discussion with PCN clinical directors on the vaccine programme. Their passion was clear, but it became apparent that this programme was exhausting. Not just the running of it, but the tensions with mass vaccination centres, the uncertainty around supplies, the problems in reaching hard-to-reach vulnerable groups.
I think everyone involved has done a great job so far. But if we are doubling the number of vaccines administered, we need more than vague allusions to a bank of staff. Because caffeine and Matt Hancock’s thanks won’t be enough to fight off Long Vaccine.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.