Responding to news that more than two million vaccines have been delivered across the UK, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: "We are immensely proud of the doctors and all healthcare staff who have toiled tirelessly for long hours, seven days a week, to deliver more than 2.6 million doses across the UK in such a short time.
"If we’re going to hit the Government’s mid-February deadline of the four highest priority groups, it’s vital that this programme is rapidly accelerated and supplies keep up with demand to ensure as many people as possible are protected against this dreadful virus and reduce pressure on the NHS.
"It is also crucial that health and care workers are urgently vaccinated so that they are able to be fit and well to continue providing care and keeping services running at time when the NHS is under unparalleled pressure, as well as to deliver the vaccination programme itself.
"While the opening of mass vaccination centres have been announced, vulnerable, often elderly, patients should not be expected to travel up to 45 minutes to get their jabs when their local GP surgery or community vaccination site stands ready to immunise them, close to home.
"GPs are working incredibly hard to vaccinate their communities, but basic logistics and simple messaging for patients are key to this. This is why we need urgently clarity on how these mass vaccination centres will work alongside practices – as well as reassurance that supply will keep up with demand across these different services."
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.