A nurse has spoken out about colleagues having to throw away supplies of the vaccine because people aren’t keeping the appointments their GPs have made for them.
Mass injection centres have opened across the country in a bid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic with hopes that a jab can be given every 45 seconds. But speaking to the MailOnline, an anonymous nurse working at one of the hospitals in West London said: “Loads of people are not keeping the appointments their GPs have made for them.
“The trouble 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. Had we known they weren’t coming, someone else could have been slotted in in their place. We were left hanging around, and then when they didn’t show up, we were faced with the choice of throwing the vaccine away or trying to get it into someone’s arm.”
She went on: “I rang some friends and said ‘How quickly can you drop everything and get here?’ Other staff were doing the same. Some people we rang were able to come in at short notice and they had the vaccine, but a lot of it had to be thrown away because we can’t keep it beyond a certain time.
Pfizer’s vaccine in particular has to be kept in controlled conditions and once it has been defrosted will only last a matter of days. This becomes much less once it has been removed from the fridge.
The MailOnline reported that because doses are being prepared quickly, medics are getting them out ready to use but then they’re left standing there because people don’t turn up.
Part of the reason why some people have left their appointment is because of the queues outside the vaccination centres in the freezing cold. Maria Demetrious’ parents were due to be vaccinated at The Jenner Practice, in Forest Hill, London, but left without it.