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COVID-19 vaccine: requirements for osteopaths

10 December 2020

Following approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine last week by the Medicines and Healthcare Products (MHRA), the vaccine programme is starting to be rolled out in the UK. This will be the largest immunisation programme in history.

Osteopaths are required to work within the framework of the Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS).

In terms of the COVID-19 vaccines, relevant OPS standards include:

C6: You must be aware of your wider role as a healthcare professional to contribute to enhancing the health and wellbeing of your patients:
You should be aware of public health issues and concerns, and be able to discuss these in a balanced way with patients, or guide them to resources or to other healthcare professionals to support their decision-making regarding these.

B2: You must recognise and work within the limits of your training and competence.

A7: You must make sure your beliefs and values do not prejudice your patients’ care.

D7: You must uphold the reputation of the profession at all times through your conduct, in and out of the workplace. 

This means that osteopaths should ensure that discussions with patients about vaccines are based upon credible and legitimate sources of public health information such as the NHS website or the MHRA website.

For osteopaths wishing to contribute to the vaccination programme, parliament recently changed the law to allow a wider group of registered and non-registered professionals to apply to train to deliver appropriate vaccines.