United Kingdom

NHS 'threatens legal action' against vaccine centre staff offering jabs to friends and family

Senior NHS sources have threatened legal action against vaccine centre staff offering 'leftover jabs' to their relatives and friends who do not fall within the top four priority groups, it has been reported.  

Friends and family of staff, who are under the age of 70, are being invited to take the vaccination in an effort to avoid any Pfizer jabs, which come in boxes of 975 doses and can only be stored for five days once thawed, from being thrown away.

However senior sources in the NHS are now calling for disciplinary action to be taken against centres that are in breach of national policy, The Telegraph reports.

It comes after Matt Hancock today revealed that three quarters of over-80s have received doses of the jab - with a total of 6.4 million Britons vaccinated since the rollout began.

NHS vaccination centres are offering leftover jabs to friends and family of staff who are under the age of 70 to avoid them being thrown away. (Stock image)

In parts of Kent, Essex, Buckinghamshire and south London, friends and family who did not fall within the top four priority groups were understood to have been invited to take the vaccine, according to The Telegraph. 

Meanwhile one source said that friends and family as young as 30 were being given the jab by staff at a centre in Liverpool.   

At Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, friends and family in their fifties were also reportedly invited for the 'leftover vaccines'.  

A spokesman for the hospital told The Telegraph that a friends and family scheme was in operation but said vaccines had only been offered to those over 80.

The source told the paper: 'If people outside those groups have been invited, then we will have to investigate that.'

Elsewhere South Trafford Primary Care Network in Hale, Greater Manchester, admitted it too had given the jab to those in their forties in an effort to stop any vaccines from being wasted.   

Senior staff within the NHS are now calling for action to be taken against vaccine centres, hospitals and GPs across the country operating a 'family and friends list'.

Earlier today, Matt Hancock revealed that three quarters of over-80s have received doses of the jab - with a total of 6.4 million Britons vaccinated since the roll out began. 

On Saturday 491,970 people received their first dose and 1,043 got their second, the highest daily figures recorded so far

Today Matt Hancock revealed that three quarters of over-80s have received doses of the jab 

Saturday alone saw 491,970 people get their first dose and 1,043 get their second, the highest daily figures recorded so far.

Ministers have set a target of vaccinating the 15 million people in the top four priority groups - which includes the over-80s - by February 15.

To achieve their ambitious target, 397,333 vaccines were needed each day - a figure which was exceeded on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Former-director of immunisation at the Department of Health David Salisbury said the Government's ambitious vaccine targets could well be achieved.

He told The Times: 'With a fair wind and a supply of vaccine they ought to make the mid-February target.

'If the Pfizer slowdown hits us, and Astrazeneca supplies take a hit — then that's going to be tough.' 

NHS data shows London still lags behind all other regions in terms of the total number of jabs given, having delivered around 641,000 since December 8. 

The capital also delivered the lowest number of first doses in the last seven days.

Between January 17 and January 23, 219,350 first doses were administered in London compared to 362,976 in the Midlands.    

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