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Scotland: Dentists can give flu vaccinations this winter 

02 September 2020


General Dental Practitioners in Scotland can, if they wish, support the NHS' 2020/21 flu vaccination programme, which should help save lives and relieve pressure on the NHS this winter.  


The seasonal flu vaccination programme is a life-saving public health measure. However, delivering the programme during the pandemic will be more challenging as GPs, who previously delivered most of the vaccinations, are seeing fewer patents. That's why, the Scottish Government approached us with a proposal that NHS independent General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) participate in this year's seasonal flu programme.    


When we asked our members if they wished to be involved, they were supportive. GDPs can now, if they wish, take part in the 2020/21 programme which will be led by the Health Boards and Integration Authorities. The programme is not mandatory and dental contractors are free to opt in or out. But it is anticipated that GDPs will help with specific patient groups and sessional vaccination clinics.  


The programme will be delivered between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021, but Boards have been asked to concentrate delivery before the end of November to maximise the protection of eligible individuals. Boards will contact GDPs about local arrangements for the immunisation programme, including provision of appropriate PPE, guidance on the use of PPE for immunisation and vaccinations, stock control and distribution of vaccines and appropriate monitoring arrangements. 


A one-off participation fee will be offered to dentists participating in the 2020/21 programme set at £250 per contractor. We argued that a per-immunisation payment would support dentists and encourage vaccinations. The Government has agreed that participating dentists will receive £8.27 per immunisation, an agreement that mirrors the one made with community pharmacists. 


Scottish Government will be issuing a PCA notifying practitioners of this initiative. In the meantime, we are seeking clarification on issues which will affect GDPs, such as indemnity, the provision of training, record keeping and storage of the vaccine. We will update you when we have more information.