Health & NHS
Covid jab fees boosted between Christmas and New Year
To boost the Covid booster vaccination effort between Christmas and New Year, NHS England is increasing the item of service fee to £20 per covid-19 vaccination administered between 25 December 2021 to 3 January 2022 inclusive.
This is to support PCN and community pharmacy sites to set up additional clinics during this period, says the NHS Primary Care Bulletin. It follows an announcement on December 7 of an increase in the fee to £15 for jabs administered on weekdays and Saturdays from 1 December 2021 to 31 January 2022).
The PSNC has been pressing the NHS to enable more community pharmacies to help deliver Covid booster vaccinations. In light of the effort required in response to Omicron, PSNC's view is that the NHS made a tactical error in rejecting thousands of applications from pharmacies to provide vaccinations.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup has reportedly confirmed that while contractors put forward 5,376 sites to become vaccination centres, only 1,451 were approved.
Meanwhile the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced an additional £22.5 million funding to local councils to help areas with low vaccine uptake encourage hard to reach people to come forward.
A Community Vaccines Champion scheme will target 60 local authorities with the lowest vaccine uptake. Around 900 people will also form ‘street teams’ and visit 21 popular areas across England, including Liverpool One Shopping Centre, King’s Cross Station and Brighton Pier, every day from today (19 December) to Christmas Eve to urge people to get their jabs.
Data published by the UK Health Security Agency shows vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection is substantially reduced against Omicron with just two doses over time, but a third dose boosts protection back up to over 70 per cent.