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HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 25 June 2021

Media Summary

Hancock: Vaccinations to shift from GP to pharmacy
P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Magazine, 24 June 2021

P3 Pharmacy reports that Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he wishes to see a “big shift” in how vaccinations are carried out in England, with pharmacies delivering more jabs and GPs focusing on “practising medicine in the normal way”.

He confirmed that there will be a COVID-19 booster jab programme, but the Government is still waiting on clinical data, “not least on the co-administration of flu and COVID-19 and on clinically which jabs go to people” and on which of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) cohorts will be prioritised.

Additionally, he said that this winter “we know we’ve got to deliver the biggest ever flu vaccination programme alongside the booster vaccinations for COVID-19,” as lower than average circulation of influenza over the past year will have led to reduced immunity.

He suggested that we should learn from the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the delivery of flu jabs by utilising pharmacies and taking pressure of general practices.

Matt Hancock said that in the medium to long term “we should move more and more towards administration from pharmacy” and community pharmacies are at the centre of primary care, with pharmacists delivering more clinical services.

This was also reported by the Chemist and Druggist.

 

 Parliamentary Coverage

Urgent action needed to protect supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland – Beattie
Ulster Unionist Party, 23 June 2021

Doug Beattie MC MLA (Ulster Unionist Party Leader) has written to Maroš Šefcovic (EU Commission Vice President) to highlight the harmful impact that the Northern Ireland Protocol is having on the supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Doug Beattie highlights that approximately 98% of all the medicines supplied to Northern Ireland come from Great Britain.

As a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland will be forced to follow EU rules and regulations for medicines and medical devices, whereas the three nations of Great Britain will not. This will have a profound impact on both the supply and regulation of medicines in Northern Ireland.

The pharmaceutical industry is legally obliged to give the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) six months’ notice of discontinuations to the UK market. Thus, the next couple of weeks are very important, with just over six months until the end of the grace period for medicines regulation on 31st December 2021.

Doug Beattie asks Maroš Šefcovic to look at proposals to protect the supply of medicines between Great Britain and Northern Ireland ‘favourably’ and ‘urgently.’

3 in 5 UK adults receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Department of Health and Social Care, 23 June 2021

More than 82.5% of people in the UK also now vaccinated with a single dose and over 60% of UK adults have been vaccinated with a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The public is urged to come forward to receive second doses to help protect against the threat of new variants

The Government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15th April 2021 and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19th July 2021, two weeks earlier than planned. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone aged 18 and over.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “To ensure people have the fullest possible protection against COVID-19, second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks.”

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “No matter where you live, where you come from, your background or your beliefs – provided you are over 18, there is a vaccine available to you. I urge everyone eligible to get their jab and help us get back to normality.”

 

Full Coverage

Hancock: Vaccinations to shift from GP to pharmacy
P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Magazine, 24 June 2021

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said he wishes to see a “big shift” in how vaccinations are carried out in England, with pharmacies delivering more jabs and GPs focusing on “practising medicine in the normal way”.

Addressing a webinar hosted by Sigma Pharmaceuticals last night (June 23), the secretary of state confirmed there will be a Covid booster jab programme but said he could not set out any details because the Government is still waiting on clinical data, “not least on the co-administration of flu and Covid and on clinically which jabs go to people” and on which of the JCVI cohorts will be prioritised.

He also said that this winter “we know we’ve got to deliver the biggest ever flu vaccination programme alongside the booster vaccinations for Covid,” as lower than average circulation of influenza over the past year will have led to reduced immunity.

“We have to reach as many people as possible with Covid jabs and we have to make sure the way we deliver flu jabs is completely modernised, learning the messages from the Covid vaccination programme and taking pressure off general practice because we’ve seen how much pharmacy can step up.”

He said that in the medium to long term “we should move more and more towards administration from pharmacy”.

“Firstly, the big pharmacy-run centres have been absolutely brilliant,” he said, singling out Cullimore Pharmacy in London and Superdrug in Guildford as the longest continuously running pharmacy vaccination centres.

“Secondly, in terms of the use of our clinical capabilities as a country, if you want people to be practising at the top of their licence, frankly we need GPs to be back in surgeries… practising medicine in the normal way – whereas vaccination can be done by a range of different clinicians.

“That’s very much the direction of travel.”

Asked about reimbursement of Covid costs, a key demand in the PSNC’s negotiations with Treasury officials, Mr Hancock said: “I thought this might come up and I know that the costs were paid for but there hasn’t been that reimbursement. It’s something that I’m working on but I apologise, I’m not able to say any more on this.”

The health secretary said he saw community pharmacies as being at the heart of primary care, with pharmacists delivering more clinical services.

“On the point about the funding, obviously we’ve got to address that but let’s make sure that we have discussions around that. There is a bright future here of more activity better supported.

“We’re always going to push for money, of course we are, but I think the opportunity here is of innovative policy to get the most out of what can be done and that’s the win-win that we’ve got to keep our eyes on.”

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 25 June 2021

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