An agreement between the British Medical Association (BMA) and Government means that GPs will be paid £5.25 for giving patients a single dose of swine-flu vaccine.

Trials monitored by the NHS have indicated that a single dose will be enough to provide immunity, contrary to previous advice that two does would be required.

Vaccination is due to begin next month, starting with 13 million health workers and people in high-risk groups such as pregnant women and people with asthma and diabetes.

The Government has ordered enough vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter to provide the entire UK population with two doses each. However, GSK trials indicate that one dose produces a strong immune response.

Meanwhile, says Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee: “We are confident that GPs and their teams will have the resources they need in order to run the swine flu vaccination programme smoothly and efficiently.”