Covid: GPs to earn £10 per care home resident vaccination

Extra payment offered in effort to protect most vulnerable in England before end of January

GPs in England are to be paid an extra £10 for every care home resident they vaccinate against Covid, in an attempt to protect the most vulnerable people in the top priority group before the end of January.

Around two-thirds of the people vaccinated so far have been care home residents – 524,439 of the total of 786,000. Even though they are in the top priority group, they have been harder to reach because many cannot travel to hospitals or vaccination centres from where the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is administered, either because they are frail or because there are not enough staff to take them.

But the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved on Wednesday, is easier to deploy than the Pfizer one. Because it can be stored in an ordinary fridge and is safe at room temperature for hours, GPs will be able to take enough doses to a care home to vaccinate all the residents and staff.

The bonus payments for residents vaccinated before the end of January are an incentive for a big push to increase the number of vaccinations in the next four weeks. Most residents should be vaccinated by the end of the month and all should have an appointment by then, NHS England has said.

Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and the NHS medical director for primary care, said: “Three-quarters of a million people have now received the Pfizer vaccine thanks to the tireless efforts of NHS staff who have given up time with their families over Christmas to deliver vaccines at the same time as treating record numbers of seriously ill patients with Covid-19.

“As we head into the new year with a second vaccine that is also more versatile we will be able to expand the programme and ensure that the majority of care home residents are protected within the next four weeks or so.

“It is also great news that we will be able to begin vaccinating NHS staff serving on the frontline to protect them against coronavirus.”

Those in the priority groups who can travel will get appointments at the increased number of vaccination centres being set up. More than 700 GP-run centres and hospital hubs are now offering jabs across the country.

NHS organisations have been asked to start vaccinating nurses, doctors and other staff as soon as additional supplies become available. Until now they were only being vaccinated if doses were not going to be used by others in time.

There should be no shortage of vaccines available, because everybody will be offered a first shot, with the second shot being given after 12 weeks rather than three or four. The delay will allow time for more Pfizer doses to arrive from Europe or Oxford doses to be delivered from UK factories.

The vaccines have been given temporary emergency approval by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority, a fast-track process which means that every batch has to be separately certified for quality on arrival. So far, 530,000 doses of the Oxford vaccine have been validated for use out of 4m that are in the country.

The European Medicines Agency has given full emergency authorisation for the Pfizer vaccine, which means that doses arriving in member states do not need batch approval. It is still considering authorisation of the Oxford vaccine.


Sarah Boseley Health editor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Boris Johnson under pressure to prioritise vaccine for care homes
Scotland announces rollout within fortnight, casting doubt on logistical obstacles cited by PM and NHS chief

Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent

03, Dec, 2020 @7:00 PM

Article image
Dozens of GP practices in England opt out of Covid vaccine rollout
Exclusive: more than 100,000 patients will have to get jab elsewhere as GPs say they lack capacity to take part

Denis Campbell Health policy editor

11, Dec, 2020 @11:11 AM

Article image
NHS Covid app could be used to prove status and access venues in England
Measures being considered would see pubs and restaurants checking if customers have been vaccinated or recently tested

Aubrey Allegretti and Jessica Elgot

24, Feb, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
All’s not fair in Covid vaccination strategy
Letters: Readers on the inequality, logistical problems and north-south divide in the distribution of vaccines


24, Jan, 2021 @5:18 PM

Article image
English care homes 'sitting ducks' as GPs refuse Covid vaccine at infected sites
Suspected outbreaks recorded in 635 facilities, but vaccinations delayed despite NHS deadline to protect vulnerable people Coronavirus

Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent

21, Jan, 2021 @4:09 PM

Article image
Government accused of 'jumping gun' on England care home visits
Care home bosses say visitors hoping to hug loved ones are being turned away due to lack of tests

Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent

02, Dec, 2020 @2:21 PM

Article image
GPs in England get green light to provide less care and join Covid jab drive
Government says doctors can do less monitoring of people with diabetes and heart problems

Denis Campbell and agencies

03, Dec, 2021 @5:23 PM

Article image
‘Tens of thousands’ of NHS and care home staff could quit over Covid jabs
Fears voiced over exodus of personnel as Sajid Javid confirms NHS England workers will have to be fully jabbed by April

Denis Campbell Health policy editor

09, Nov, 2021 @6:58 PM

Article image
Fifty UK vaccination hubs will help deliver 2m jabs a week, say ministers
Government promises to inoculate 15 million Britons in top four priority groups over next five weeks

Dan Sabbagh

11, Jan, 2021 @7:41 PM

Article image
Hugging to resume in England's care homes with rapid Covid tests
Protective equipment still needed and not everyone will be able to visit before Christmas

Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent

01, Dec, 2020 @6:27 PM