Responding to news that more than 15 million people have now received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “Reaching the 15 million first dose target - ahead of time, and to be the first nation in the EU to do so - is an extraordinary achievement; we are immensely proud of every single healthcare worker across the country for their dedication and countless hours they have spent protecting patients against this dreadful virus.
“This milestone shows exactly what happens when clinicians are allowed to lead from the front, unhindered by unnecessary bureaucracy or red tape as they focus on delivering vaccines to patients, and this must continue as we look to the next phase of the rollout.
“As we widen the net on vaccine eligibility, it’s also vital that the Government is clear in its messaging to the public, which must be culturally competent so that we maximise uptake in areas of deprivation and in black and minority ethnic populations. We also need reassurance on sustained vaccine supplies, and urgent clarity on how mass vaccination centres will work alongside GP-led community sites and surgeries in order to prevent patient confusion and keep the momentum of this rollout going.
“Moving forward, the UK is ideally placed to assess the efficacy of the vaccine and its transmissibility, and it is important that the results of the Government’s surveillance are made known and which will inform decisions on easing lockdown and what levels of restrictions are necessary for vaccinated individuals.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.