LOCAL NHS leaders are forcing doctors to throw away Covid vaccines rather than give second doses, a report has revealed.
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NHS leaders are reportedly forcing doctors to throw away Covid vaccines rather than give second doses (File photo)Credit: Alamy Live News
While some are reportedly refusing to comply, others fear vaccine supplies will be cancelled if they defy instructions.
Dr Robert Morley, the director of professional support at the Birmingham Local Medical Committee, told the Telegraph the policy was “counterproductive”.
He said: “This is ridiculous, bordering on the criminal, to actually be wasting vaccines when you have the worst global healthcare crisis for a century.”
According to Dr Morley, uncertainty regarding supply meant GPs were finding it difficult to book the precise number of appointments for clinics.
He added that leftover doses should be used “as a second dose for healthcare workers, for example, who may be there in the building”.
It came after NHS England issued a “strong decree” in a letter on Monday warning GPs not give second doses to patients.
But Dr Morley said GPs in Birmingham were being “very robust” and insisting on giving a second dose. In other areas medics were said to feel “more threatened”.
He added there is “a suspicion that those who have said they are going to go ahead and give second doses… their vaccine supplies have been cancelled at short notice”.
Dr Brian McGregor, a GP who chairs the BMA’s Yorkshire regional committee, told the Telegraph that NHS England had instructed his local clinical commissioning group to throw out unused doses instead of giving a second jab.
He said the issue would be “performance managed”, adding: “They control our contracts, payments, vaccine supply, regulation and can make life unbearable”.
An NHS spokesman told the Telegraph: “There is absolutely no reason why vaccine should be wasted.
“Local vaccination sites should be managing their appointment lists to ensure all appointments are filled and they have a backup list of patients and staff who can receive the vaccine at short notice.”
It comes as five million over-70s are expected to start receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine next week.
In some areas more than 90 per cent of over-80s have been vaccinated, and now ministers are reportedly getting ready to give the go-ahead to the next age group in line for the jab.