Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: Three quarters of UK doctors have had first vaccine dose, BMA survey finds

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 21 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n190

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  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Three quarters of doctors (75%) have received their first dose of the covid-19 vaccine, a survey conducted by the BMA has found.

The association polled 41 000 doctors, including medical students and returning retired doctors, from 16 to 17 January. It received 5197 responses.

Of the doctors who responded, 75% (3816) said that they had received a single dose of the vaccination, and 12% (624) had now received two doses. The Pfizer vaccine was most commonly used, as 94% (4140) of those doctors had received it.

Among respondents who were still waiting for their first dose of the vaccine, 66% (377 of 572) said that they had not yet been notified as to when they would receive it.

Just under a quarter (23%; 873 of 3806) of doctors reported having been notified of a cancelled second vaccine dose. The BMA said that this probably reflected the prioritisation of single doses in the vaccine rollout at this stage.

Workforce strain

Commenting on the survey findings, David Wrigley, BMA council deputy chair, said that progress was being made but that more than one in 10 doctors around the UK had still not received their first dose of the vaccine.

“The majority of these are still unsure when they are set to have it,” he said. “These are doctors who need their vaccine as soon as possible.”

He added that around 50 000 NHS workers were off work owing to covid-19, which was compounding the immense strain already on the workforce during the second wave.

“If we don’t act quickly to give these doctors protection it runs the risk of even more falling ill and being taken away from the front line,” he said. “The BMA has been absolutely clear that all health and social care workers need to have received at least their first dose of the vaccine by the end of January, particularly those at greatest risk from infection.

“It is therefore crucial that these remaining doctors receive their first dose urgently to give them protection against this deadly disease.”

Wrigley also called for a renewed effort to give a second dose of the vaccine to doctors as soon as possible to provide maximum protection from the virus. “The BMA will continue to lobby hard for this to happen,” he said.

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