GPs in England will be given 10 days notice before any Covid vaccine roll out begins.

A letter from top health officials to family doctors set out more detail on how and when a vaccine will be distributed in communities.

Vaccination in GP sites will not begin on the week commencing on 30 November, according to the letter from NHS officials in England.

But it said that GPs could use their newly designated vaccine clinics to roll out the flu vaccine – which has now been given the go ahead to include over 50s.

HEALTH Coronavirus
Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK (PA)

Health leaders in England have also said GPs can use £20 million towards set up costs for the “biggest vaccination drive in NHS history”.

The letter from Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s medical director of primary care, and Ed Waller, NHS England’s director for primary care, thanked GPs for their efforts during the pandemic and praised their “fantastic response” to setting up vaccination sites.

It said: “We have had a fantastic response from general practice.

“We know general practice is already busy and we are hugely grateful for your commitment to ensuring your patients are vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“We will aim to give all sites at least 10 days notice of the first vaccines becoming available to ensure sites can be stood-up and clinics arranged.

“Vaccinations will not commence in PCN (primary care network) grouping sites during the week of 30/11.”

HEALTH Coronavirus
Covid-19 deaths in hospitals in England (PA)

The letter added: “As you know, there was an announcement this week by the Secretary of State for Health that the flu vaccination programme should be extended to the 50-64 year old cohort.

“In light of the confirmation that Covid vaccinations will not commence during the week of 30/11, we are conscious that some PCN groupings may wish to use this opportunity to invite this cohort to their single designated site, both to test arrangements whilst ensuring the best sequencing of the two programmes.”

It also said that further guidance will be issued on how care home residents will be vaccinated, as well as those who need vaccination at home.

Dr Kanani said: “We have had an incredible response from general practice teams in every part of the country, who want to play their part in delivering a potentially life-saving vaccine safely and effectively.

“Possible sites have already been nominated to deliver the vaccine in local communities, and an additional £20 million investment can be used to meet one off set up costs which will be part of the biggest vaccination drive in NHS history.”

Three vaccine candidates have published interim results from their clinical trials.

All have indicated positive safety and efficacy findings so far and regulators are keenly assessing trial data.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that a vaccine could be approved for use within “days” once regulators have received final submissions from researchers.

Regulators have been conducting “rolling reviews” so scientists can submit data as they get it rather than at the end of their trials.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed on Monday it had received the necessary data to progress their review into whether the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine meets the required standards.