Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19 vaccines: GPs boost uptake by calling patients and teaming up with community groups

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 23 August 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2093

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

An east London general practice that called every one of its patients to discuss covid-19 vaccination and any related concerns has reported vaccination coverage rates above those in the surrounding area.

Farzana Hussain, a GP who runs a practice in Newham, where levels deprivation and poverty are high, singlehandedly started phoning patients within a few weeks of vaccinations beginning in January 2021, after noticing that only about half of her patients were taking up offers the vaccine, all of them white British.

Hussain used her days off to ring patients who had not yet had the vaccine to explain that they were eligible for it and to discuss any questions they might have, having been spurred on by reports that people from ethnic minorities were more likely to contract and die from covid-19.1 “These weren’t just 10 minute calls—they took a lot longer than the normal 10 minute appointments,” she told The BMJ.

Hussain said that she had built good relationships with many of her patients over the past 18 years while running the practice, especially the older and more vulnerable groups, and this helped with these conversations. She noted three major themes …

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