Sessional GPs ‘much less likely’ to get COVID vaccination despite JCVI priority, BMA survey finds

22nd January 2021 by NASGP

Sessional GPs ‘much less likely’ to get COVID vaccination despite JCVI priority, BMA survey finds

Sessional GPs, particularly locums, are much less likely than any other group of doctors to have received a COVID vaccination, despite being in the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) priority group 2 (healthcare workers), a new BMA survey has found. 

Without a centralised system for delivering the vaccine to healthcare workers, Dr Rachel McMahon writes, sessional GPs must undertake their own ‘trial and error’ strategy to get their first jab. 

The sessional GPs subcommittee now recommends that all sessional GPs ensure they are recorded as a healthcare worker by approaching:

  • A practice they currently work at. (Sessional GPs should ask to join the practice’s staff list). 
  • A practice they have worked at in the past, provided they are willing to add you to a staff list. 
  • The practice where they are registered as a patient.

Dr McMahon also advises that if the first three approaches fail, mass vaccination hubs will only be able to offer vaccination if the sessional GP is already flagged as a healthcare worker. 

Hospitals are cited as a last option, and guidance advises that it is ‘not clear how GPs could access these appointments’. Dr McMahon suggests contacting the hospital’s occupational health department. 

Two weeks ago the NASGP warned that NASGP locum members in England have had varying success accessing the first vaccination, given the lack of a centralised system. 

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