Dozens of practices have said they will not be able to join the jab programme as planned. The doctors – already dishing out more flu jabs than unusual and facing staff shortages – opted out fearing it would mean other services having to be cut back. The 100,000 people who will now not be able to have their Covid jab at a GP practice should be able to get it elsewhere at the end of January.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said there had been an “excellent response” from many surgeries, but it understood why some “have felt they cannot sign up”.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine poses logistical problems.
It must be stored at -70C to -80C then thawed – and can only be moved four times.
Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the RCGP, said: “It is going to be an enormous challenge given the workload and workforce challenges GPs and our teams are currently working under.”
He said around 280 sites were preparing to start injecting early next week as the primary care rollout begins.
The NHS said: “There has been a fantastic response from GPs responding rapidly to make arrangements.”