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LMC comms on Covid-19 vaccines - 27th November

There has been widespread coverage of the results of the trials of three of the Covid-19 vaccines which is a really positive development.

We are expecting the Pfizer BioNTech and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to be licensed in the near future but these vaccines will not become widely available until 2021.

The plans to deliver the vaccine programme are being limited by the characteristics of the vaccine and its mobility. The current planning assumptions are that it is likely that the first vaccine to be available (Pfizer/ Courageous) has limited mobility which is unlikely to lend itself to roving or local vaccination sites.

The expectation is that the Pfizer vaccine will initially be used to vaccinate Acute Trust staff and would then be made available in the Community (Mass) Vaccination Sites to immunise Health and Social Care staff.

We anticipate that primary care and roving delivery models will be implemented once a more mobile vaccine (the Oxford AstraZeneca one) becomes available.  We hope this will follow shortly after the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. General Practice will then be able to start vaccinating: residents of Care Homes and their staff; people aged 80 and over. Community Teams working with general practice will also be able to vaccinate housebound.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be a positive development for general practices as it can be stored in our vaccine fridges for up to 6 months, can be taken out into the community, and comes in packs of 80-100 doses. We expect that we will still need to focus our efforts on one site per PCN initially because of the logistics of delivering the vaccines.

The NHS has been asked to be ready to start vaccinating as soon as the vaccines are licensed and become available. We should be given 10 days’ notice of this.

The NHS Enhanced Service contract should be sent to practices within the next week and you will have 7 days to sign up to the enhanced service.

The additional consumables (syringes, needles etc) needed will be supplied – please ensure you have enough PPE for the vaccination sites.

We would expect a significant number of documents to become available shortly which should include:

  • The consent process
  • Pre and post vaccination information
  • PGDs for each vaccine
  • Draft temporary staff contracts
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for sharing staff
  • Details of the local workforce contacts

We will keep you informed of developments as soon as we become aware of them but as I am sure you are aware this is a fast moving and ever-changing topic.

Best wishes