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Delivering immunisations during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Social distancing All practices are expected to comply with Public Health England’s guidance on social distancing and infection control

On 11th March 2020, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic. This was due to the rapid increase in the number of cases outside China within two weeks, spreading through a growing number of countries.1 This was followed by an announcement on 23 March 2020 from the UK Prime Minster that a national lockdown would commence, the easing of which began in June 2020.2 The COVID-19 pandemic placed enormous stress on the National Health Services (NHS) and similar to other European countries, the health services had to reorganise.3 Chronic and non-urgent care in hospital was suspended to increase the capacity of emergency and respiratory care. Within primary care, changes in practice management and consultation strategies had to be quickly adapted. Remote triaging and delivering telephone and video consultations were adopted as the default position. Practices had to identify and prioritise support for the clinically extremely vulnerable who were shielding and for care home cohorts. They had to reorganise face-to-face consultations to minimise risk to themselves and to their patients using designated teams and facilities or premises.4,5 All practices were expected to comply with Public Health England’s guidance on social distancing and infection control. Studies showed that patients were consulting less frequently for health problems ot

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