GP surgeries are required to be ready to start operating of Covid-19 vaccination centers by 14 December.

In a letter sent via Primary Care Networks in England, the NHS England The NHS improvement warned that the “size and complexity” of the immunization program would make it “one of the biggest challenges the NHS has ever faced”.

The letter was signed by Dr. Nikita Kanani, Medical Director for Primary Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Ed Waller, Primary Care Manager. “It is crucial that we start revitalizing local vaccination services to allow priority cohorts of patients to start getting vaccinated,” she said.

Vaccination sites must be ready to administer 975 doses of vaccine to priority patients within three and a half days of delivery on December 14th.

Speed ​​is the essence of the vaccine, like It is usually stored at -70 ° C It will only remain stable in temperatures between 2 ° C and 8 ° C for a limited time. There are 975 doses in each package of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, which posed a logistical problem regarding how they were divided and distributed to other major sites, such as care homes.

The first to get the vaccine At the centers, it will be people aged 80 years or over, as long as other risk factors, “clinical or otherwise,” are taken into account.

NHS England and NHS Improvement said the number of vaccination sites in each clinical commissioning group (CCG) area will vary according to the population over the age of 80. CCGs have been asked to consider inequality and deprivation – some of the biggest Covid-19 risk factor – when selecting sites.

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The letter stated that each center would also be provided with “information technology equipment necessary to deliver the program and a refrigerator”.

She added, “We will write to the sites that have been identified as part of the first wave on Monday, and specify full details of the dates for the supply of vaccines, the delivery of consumables and other equipment to the site, and the process to ensure preparedness before vaccines are delivered.”

She said staff at the vaccination sites would be provided with training, and “full support for mobilization within the timeframe.”

Staff at the first sites to be opened will receive login details for the IT system that has been set up to deliver the vaccination program “as soon as possible”.

The CCGs have been told that they must “provide all possible assistance” to the vaccine sites as the program begins, including assistance with the logistics and setting up of clinical waste arrangements.

They were also warned that while urgent care must be provided by GPs even during the introduction of the vaccine, the vaccination program must be their top priority.