General practitioners, or family doctors, will start giving COVID-19 vaccines this week as they join in on the local vaccination drive. However, some GPs have voiced concern about the lack of information ahead of their involvement in the programme.
Last month, around 90 family doctors signed up for the initiative and even followed an online refresher course on the jab procedure.
As of this week, GPs will now be required to sign patients up for their vaccines in batches of 11 people. These would be patients who are either yet to be vaccinated, or haven’t registered for their doses, and who would like their own trusted doctor to administer the jab.
Meanwhile, the family doctors have to apply for and pick up the doses from Mater Dei Hospital themselves. They would then have 6 hours to administer the jabs, with the vaccines stored appropriately in their clinic or pharmacy.
However, as per the limited information at the doctors’ disposal, people who have already registered for an appointment or have been assigned a date cannot switch to their GP.
Some local practitioners have also argued that having to pick up batches of 11 at a time will make the whole process significantly slower and that sending an authorised representative on their behalf would make more sense.
Local doctors also lack information on whether or not they are expected to be paid for the service or provide it voluntarily.