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UK: England: Vaccinations and immunisations to become essential contractual service | Pulse.

[7 February 2020] Eleanor Philpotts writes:

The new GP contract has stated that vaccinations and immunisations will become an essential contractual service this year.

The payment model will be overhauled to introduce and standardise 'item of service' payments across all routine programmes during the next two years.

This will begin with measles mumps and rubella (MMR) in 2020/21, before extending to other vaccines from April 2021.

The contract states that £30m extra funding is being put in to vaccinations and immunisations in general practice.

It states: 'Vaccinations and immunisation becomes an essential service which should be available to the whole practice population, rather than an additional service. All practices will be expected to offer all routine, pre and post-exposure vaccinations and NHS travel vaccinations to their registered eligible population, as the overwhelming majority already do.'

The item of fee payment will be fixed at £10.06 for the next three years. Under the agreement, there will be incentive payments for practices that achieve the required coverage for vaccinations which benefit from a 'herd immunity effect', such as MMR.This will form part of a new QOF domain.

It states: 'All investment currently committed to routine vaccination that is not redistributed into IoS payments, will be used to fund this new routine vaccination QOF domain which we expect to have a value of at least £40m. We will work with clinical leads and experts from the BMA, Public Health England and other partners over the coming months to optimise the design of this new domain.

'We anticipate that the thresholds for MMR and the six-in-one vaccine will be set at ~90%+, with points allocated to maximise the incentive and minimise negative redistributive effects.'

The agreement claims that all practices - except those with poor coverage - will benefit financially from the new arrangements.

Additionally, new incentive payments will be introduced in order to maximise population coverage as part of QOF. This replaces the current childhood immunisation DES.

Two months ago, an advisory group including representatives from the BMA GP Committee, NHS England and RCGP concluded the current childhood incentive scheme targets of 70% and 90% coverage were ‘misaligned’ to World Health Organisation-recommended levels for population protection.

Dr Gavin Jamie, Swindon GP and QOF expert, said the changes to immunisations are 'fairly big' and will create a system whereby practices could end up financially worse off.

He said: 'It's going to be a strange system of trying to claw back things at the end of the year if you don't hit a certain threshold so there's still going to be quite a big cliff-edge.

'In fact technically, if you don't give many [vaccinations] you could be in the negative - you could have more money taken away than you earn.

He added: 'It's an odd system so we'll see how it pans out. It's not terribly clear how it's going to pan out in the first year. The implication is that the claw-back won't happen in the first year but they're not actually putting hard dates on things yet.'

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC chair at the BMA, said: 'Vaccinations and immunisation are a core part of general practice and essential to protecting the health and wellbeing of our communities.

'We hope these changes will not only simplify the system for practices, but will also enable greater uptake of immunisations overall.'


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Pakistan: Pillion riding banned in Swabi during anti-polio drive | The News International.

[February 8, 2020]

PESHAWAR: The deputy commissioner of Swabi has under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code imposed a ban on display, carrying of weapons and pillion ridding during the polio campaign commencing from 17th and ending on the 22nd of February in the district.

However, this order shall not apply to the armed forces, cops on duty, officials of district administration, polio teams and security guards who shall be granted special permission/permit by the law during the polio campaign. This order shall be enforced from the 17th to 22nd of this month. Any person violating the order shall render himself/herself liable to punishment under Section 188 of the PPC, said an official handout.


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Pakistan: Martyrs package sought for slain polio workers | The Express Tribune.

[February 8, 2020] Yasir Ali writes:

PESHAWAR: Senior officials in the provincial government have been put on notice one providing the martyrs’ package to those polio workers who were gunned down during immunization drives in the province.

The notice was issued by a bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth while hearing a writ petition filed by the family of a slain polio worker.

The petition claimed that Wajid Ali and his co-worker had been gunned down during an anti-polio vaccination drive in the Mohmand Tribal District in March 2018.

Wajid’s family claimed that even though a compensation package was announced, they have yet to receive it from either the provincial or the federal government.

The petition further argued that since Wajid fought for the elimination of the crippling poliovirus in the province and to provide a safe and healthy environment to new generations of the country, they should be treated at par with others who are provided with the martyrs’ package.

Chief Justice Seth accepted the petition for hearing and issued notices to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief secretary, home and tribal affairs secretary, Mohmand deputy commissioner and others to submit a reply.

Children’s rights.

The PHC on Friday issued notices to the K-P social welfare department while summoning the district welfare officer on the protection of child rights in the province.

The notices were issued after Saifullah Muhib, on behalf of his client, filed a petition stating that scores of children have been begging across the province who have been subjected to sexual abuse, addicted to drugs and thrown into other vices. Unless the provincial government takes proper measures, incidents such as those involving the minor girl in Nowshera will keep repeating.

Muhib further argued that under the Constitution, the state is responsible for ensuring the security of every citizen and to provide free education to children until 16-years-of-age.

He contended that funds of non-government organisations (NGO) has not been properly utilized either.

Muhib demanded a crackdown against street children and for the court to direct the provincial government to take measures against those who use street children for their heinous objectives.

The court summoned all the relevant officers on February 12 and adjourned the case.


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Pakistan: No refusal cases in last Chitral polio drive | DAWN.

[February 08, 2020]

CHITRAL: The polio refusal cases in Chitral were brought to zero during the last national immunisation days (NIDs) campaign.

This was disclosed at a meeting of the district polio eradication committee (DPEC) on Friday.

Chaired by acting deputy commissioner Hayat Shah, the meeting reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming NIDs starting from Feb 17. The meeting explored alternative options in case of snowfall in the higher terrains of the district.

District coordinator of Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr Fayyaz Rumi told the meeting that for 70,943 children, 510 teams had been constituted, excluding the fixed centres set up at hospitals and transit points at Lowari Pass, the airport and the bus stands.

He said a micro-plan at union council level was being prepared and special meetings would be held in each union council to ensure success of the drive keeping in view the local context.

The acting deputy commissioner took exception to the absence of heads of various government departments, and warned that such a tendency won’t be tolerated in the next meetings.

District police officer, Upper Chitral, Zulfiqar Tanoli, district health officer Dr Mujeebur Rahman, assistant commissioner Shahzad Ahmed, district officer social welfare Khizar Hayat and other officials of health department were in attendance.


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