Doctors forced to bin vaccines as people ‘fail to turn up for appointments’
People queue outside the mass NHS Covid-19 vaccine centre that has been set up at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham (Image: Getty Images)
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Doctors are reportedly being forced to bin coronavirus vaccine doses as people 'fail to turn up for appointments’.
As the government's mass vaccination programme gets underway, one nurse at a hospital in West London said some supplies were being thrown away.
The nurse said the problem was occurring "all over London" and therefore probably right across the country.
Speaking to the MailOnline, the nurse said: "Loads of people are not keeping the appointments their GPs have made for them.
"The problem is the vaccine has to be given or it has to be thrown away.
"On Thursday night we had something like 45 people who were booked for jabs but didn't turn up and didn't let us or their GP know in advance."
Manchester's COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Tennis and Football Centre Etihad Campus
(Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
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It comes after at least 70 people failed to turn up for their job at one surgery in Kent last week.
Dozens of pensioners missed their Pfizer vaccination at Len Valley surgery – however no vaccines were wasted thanks to staff calling in other patients to receive the vaccine at short notice.
A spokesperson said: "The team rallied round and other patients took their place so no vaccine was wasted, thankfully.
"But when numbers like this fail to arrive and a call goes out to others waiting, it can cause unnecessary congestion at the site."
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The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees while the Oxford AstraZeneca jab is easier to administer since it can be stored at standard fridge temperature.
Seven mass vaccination centres will be launched next week in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Surrey and Stevenage.
So far, around 2.6 million people have received a Covid-19 vaccine first dose throughout the UK.
By the end of this month, a further 43 mass vaccination centres are planned to open – along with more GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals also planned to be set up for administering jabs – meaning everyone in England will live within 10 miles of a site.
Len Valley surgery in Harrietsham village
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Ministers also said 80,000 trained health workers had been drafted to help administer the vaccines and more than 200,000 community volunteers are to help with non-clinical aspects of the rollout.
Mr Hancock said: “The top four priority groups account for 88% of deaths.
"We want to reach every care home resident this month."
He promises “We’re on track to deliver on pledge for top four groups" and have "accelerated care home rollout."
The Health Secretary added vaccines are important as “I want us to have a great British summer.”
At a No10 press briefing, Professor Stephen Powis said that 1,200 pharmacies in England alone will join the vaccination roll-out.