Covid: GPs complain of hold-ups in receiving virus vaccine

Some medical professionals in England have actually experienced delays in getting dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine.

One Kent GP has actually been required to cancel 80 vaccination visits set for tomorrow after a vaccine shipment was delayed.

A GP in Southport, Merseyside cancelled 128 appointments for the exact same reason.

NHS England says hold-ups are triggered when vaccination hubs have not demonstrated the necessary safety checks, but medical professionals challenge this.

One GP informed the BBC they were informed by their Medical Commissioning Group there was a software application problem with Peak, the IT system used for tape-recording vaccinations. NHS England says there are no reports of technical concerns.

‘ It’s chaos’

Dr Yvette Rean’s vaccination site was due to get 975 dosages of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today, however was informed the other day the doses won’t be getting here up until Tuesday.

” We’ve had to cancel 80 patients who had all organized transportation. It’s mayhem and it’s unfair on the patients or the GP practices and personnel,” she said.

Contributing to the pressure on GPs is the vaccine’s short life span once it’s been removed from frozen storage. GPs have been informed they have just five days from when a batch of vaccines has defrosted from -70 C, to when the dosages need to be disposed of.

Dr Rean says the hold-up in getting the batch to the vaccination website in Kent indicates she’ll be entrusted to 3.5 days to perform nearly 1000 vaccinations.

” We are needing to rebook for a complete day of immunizing,” she said. “There isn’t a central reservation system in place, so this is having to be done manually, so it is a logistical problem. All this and we are running our GP service at the exact same time.”

A spokesperson for the NHS, said: “Practices will begin immunizing when all the essential safety checks have actually been completed, and when surgical treatments can show they meet updated guidance.”

But Dr Rean stated her vaccination team got an email on Saturday from the local NHS Scientific Commissioning Group, stating the site had actually been cleared for vaccines to go on.

It’s been a likewise aggravating experience for Dr Simon Tobin, a GP in Southport, Merseyside. He and his personnel spent Sunday lining up vaccination visits for 128 of the surgical treatment’s most susceptible patients, only to be informed the doses would be delivered 24 hours late.

” It was absolutely gutting for myself and the personnel,” he stated.

He tweeted: “I’m just so disappointed after all our hard work today. We’ll have to call them [the patients] ALL again tomorrow.”

” So relieved I might weep.”

Dr Richard Van Mellaerts scientific director of the Kingston Medical Care Network in London, said he had personnel working over the weekend in case his batch of vaccines arrived. Late on Sunday he was informed the delivery may not show up till Tuesday.

When the shipment did show up on Monday early morning he tweeted: “I am so relieved I could sob.”

Pfizer, which is dealing with the German company BioNTech to manufacture the vaccine, verified there are no delays at its factory in Belgium, nor in providing the vaccine dosages to UK distribution centres.

A Pfizer spokeswoman informed the BBC: “We are working closely with the NHS across all 4 countries to support the effective roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine.

“Pfizer is supporting the delivery of the vaccine to the Federal government’s asked for areas which is advancing according to strategy. The Government and NHS are then managing the onward distribution to vaccination websites.”

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