The government has announced that doctors will be paid £5.25 for giving a patient one dose of swine-flu vaccine after reaching an agreement with the British Medical Association (BMA).
The decision comes after initial research by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) revealed just one dose of swine-flu vaccine is enough to produce a strong immune response and protect people adequately against the virus.
Currently, the Department of Health plans to treat people with two doses of the vaccine after earlier clinical trials suggested this was necessary, but a spokesman said this could change in light of further tests.
The government has ordered enough vaccine from GSK and another firm, Baxter, to immunise the entire UK population against swine flu with two doses each – so could be left with millions of unused vaccines if only one is needed.
The vaccination programme is due to start in October, subject to licensing, and more than 13 million Britons in high-risk groups and health workers will be invited to have the jab.
Those in high-risk groups include people with asthma, diabetes and pregnant women.
Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, said: “We are confident that GPs and their teams will have the resources they need in order to run the swine-flu vaccination programme smoothly and efficiently.”
Copyright © Press Association 2009
Is your practice prepared for the swine-flu vaccination programme? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
“As prepared as we can be when we are given conflicting advice, eg, one dose or two, give/don’t give with the seasonal flu jabs, and we still don’t have a delivery date. Nevertheless, we will cope, as we always do” – Name and address withheld