vaccine rollout

Vaccine rollout: NHS England tells GPs to ‘stand down’ on routine care and concentrate on COVID jab

Boris to detail his action plan tonight

Boris Johnson will detail his vaccine rollout plan later today (January 7).

It comes as reports suggest GPs have been told to “stand down” on routine care and prioritise the COVID jab.

Guidance said to have been sent to doctors says the jab should be their top priority.

Other “non-essential” activity should be postponed, potentially for weeks, it has been claimed.

medic holding a syringe
GPs have been told to prioritise the vaccine rollout (Credit: Pexels)

Who told GPs to stand down and prioritise the vaccine rollout?

The guidance has apparently come from NHS England.

It wants GPs to focus on the delivery of the vaccine by prioritising appointments for the jab over everything else.

Read more: Boris Johnson hints schools might not reopen till summer

The British Medical Association is said to have backed the order.

It has told GPs to “re-prioritise and postpone other activities” over the coming weeks.

Doctors should “stand down non-essential work” unless it’s urgent, the guidance added.

The news will no doubt fuel worries that Brits could be walking into another health crisis as a result of prioritising the vaccine.

During the first lockdown, 27 million GP appointments were “lost”.

This raised fears that diseases such as cancer were being missed and patients with other conditions deteriorated.

healthcare workers getting vaccine
Healthcare workers are among those already being vaccinated (Credit: Splash News)

What will Boris say in tonight’s press conference?

During the update tonight, it’s thought the Prime Minister will unveil his vaccine rollout plan.

Read more: Clap for Carers returns tonight under a new name

It’s thought that will include bringing in the Army to help distribute the jab.

The government has already apparently snubbed high street chemists from giving the vaccination, after they offered to help.

It would be far better to target the younger, more economically active and social population.

Boris is also expected to tell Brits about speeding up testing of the vaccine.

Up until now, testing of the initial doses has taken 20 days.

However, regulations have now changed and vaccines can be tested in five days, thus speeding up the rollout.

doctor holding injection
Regulations have now changed and vaccines can be tested in five days, thus speeding up the rollout (Credit: Unsplash)

‘Prioritise the young’

It comes as one professor urged Boris to give the jab to young people over the elderly and most vulnerable.

His thinking is that the elderly are already shielding. He added that the jab should be given to those who are now most active in society.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Professor Angus Dalgleish said: “I disagree with the priority for the elderly and chronically ill.

“Vaccinating these two groups will have only a limited impact – most of the people in these groups are likely to be shielding already and so protected to some degree. Nor are they the ones largely responsible for the spread.

“That is why it would be far better to target the younger, more economically active and social population,” he said.

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