As thousands of GPs and primary care workers have yet to obtain the jab, the introduction of the Covid vaccine for the over-80s may be stalled.
There are alerts that from next week, unvaccinated physicians will not feel comfortable taking hundreds of elderly patients into GP surgeries.
The situation was described as a “complete debacle.” by Dr. Andy Mcintosh, who runs the online forum GP Survival Scotland.
With the first Pfizer doses being delivered directly to staff in hospitals and nursing homes, the issue is widespread across the nation, although most GPs and related practice staff, such as nurses, remain in the dark on when they will get their first jag.
The “vaccinate the vaccinated” in preparation for community vaccines was a central aspect of Pfizer’s launch.
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“Dr. Mcintosh, who has about 200 patients over the age of 80 in the Borders practice, said, “We’re as patient-centered as it gets, but we seem to be pulling up the rear.
Everywhere, it’s a problem; it’s not restricted to one board or one management group.
No primary care doctor will ever have a problem doing the vaccines, but the main point is that we are not vaccinated. Without us being fully protected, they are asking us to do something.
“We can’t roll it out, then. We can’t begin to do that.
The majority of primary care doctors rightly argue that until they are adequately covered, they won’t do it.
It was bad enough to get a low-standard PPE, but we managed to restrict the number of people physically attending the practice before that. And back then, we had people telling us they were all right on the phone and then they had symptoms coming in.
“Now we have to deal with hundreds of people over 80 coming in to see us, and no one is protected – not them from us, not us from them.”
Dr. McIntosh said he heard from personnel who do not work with patients who have already been vaccinated, such as those in emergency departments.
Health boards, not GPs, are responsible for delivering the Covid vaccine program, under the terms of the Scottish GP contract – which varies from that of England -.
Most GPs, however, have volunteered to assist in the launch of the latest Oxford vaccine for the over-80s, with other health professionals such as dentists and pharmacists also being recruited to community vaccination centers for workers where younger age groups will be sent.
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GPs in the NHS Highland region, however, have chosen to provide the bulk of the vaccination program directly to all age groups and priority groups.
Dr. Iain Kennedy, GP of Inverness and Secretary of the Highland Local Medical Committee, has announced that he is going to receive his first dose of Pfizer today, but several others are still waiting.
“He said, “Most of my Highland GP colleagues feel let down by our health board as we were told that we would be vaccinated along with our hospital colleagues, but despite several requests from us to be vaccinated, that has not happened.
“We want to move forward as quickly as possible and get our patients safely vaccinated.”
Dr. Iain Kennedy Kennedy
A spokesperson for NHS Highland said that by first reaching out to main priority groups, including “care home residents and staff, and health and care staff working with Covid-positive patients,” which includes some GPs, they had followed national guidelines.
“He added, “This week, the scope of vaccination for primary care workers will advance with the aim of vaccinating all of those staff.
“The first doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca were due to arrive at NHS Highland on January 9. However, we are pleased that these doses arrived on January 5, and we will accelerate the deployment of the vaccine as a result.”
The “vast majority” of GPs in the city have not yet been vaccinated in Glasgow, Dr. John Montgomery, senior physician at David Elder Medical Practice and chairman of the GP Committee in southern Glasgow, said.
His practice at Govan Health Center has been notified that 100 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine will be given to patients today.
John Montgomery, Dr.
The practice, which has a list of 5,500 patients, is situated in a de de