PCN-led vaccination sites will be able to order extra Pfizer vaccine doses in order to follow new JCVI guidance, NHS England has said.
The clarification follows the Government’s announcement earlier today that patients aged 30-39 will be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca where this is operationally possible, in a cautious approach to growing evidence surrounding blood clotting events.
An NHS England spokesperson confirmed to Pulse that this applies to both phase 1 and 2 of the vaccine rollout, although the healthy 30-39 cohort have yet to be invited for their jab.
Meanwhile, in a letter to practices on Friday (7 May), NHS England said that all vaccination sites should now prepare to have individual conversations around risks and benefits with all patients under 40 that are currently scheduled to receive a first AZ dose.
It added: ‘This means all vaccination sites will need to put immediate measures in place to ensure that regulated healthcare professionals are available to support these conversations.’
Those who choose to go ahead with the AZ vaccine following a conversation with a clinician should be given the vaccine or booked in for an appointment, NHS England said.
However, those who choose to have another vaccine should be rebooked into a clinic offering the Pfizer jab ‘over the coming weeks’, it added.
PCN-led sites can access ‘additional’ Pfizer stock if needed, the letter said, and a spokesperson told Pulse that previous NHS England guidance on accessing additional Pfizer doses to vaccinate pregnant women will apply.
The guidance said sites should use excess Pfizer supply from second dose clinics in the first instance, but ‘escalate’ via their Regional Vaccination Operations Centre (RVOC) ‘if they have insufficient Pfizer vaccine to vaccinate their eligible patients’.
A version of this story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.