Introduction and background
Vaccination is an essential clinical service that should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RCN guidance outlining the key principles for maintaining the national immunisation schedule has been incorporated into the information in this resource.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been considerable discussion about offering vaccination in novel settings such as health care centre car parks, other open spaces or temporary structures such as gazebos to reduce the time people are in the surgery. Alongside this there is recognition for a need to offer large scale vaccination services particularly to support the influenza vaccine programme for 2020/2021 and in preparation for COVID-19 vaccines as they become available. The ‘usual’ vaccination premises and staff are unlikely to be able to cope with this increased need for capacity alone.
It is recommended that large scale vaccination plans are developed locally and with engagement with multi-professional colleagues across the system; primary care, general practice, pharmacy, community services, care homes, school health and potentially linked to acute services for example A&E and outpatients. The local population needs, infrastructure availability, service capacity and demand all need careful consideration.