Doctor warns under 40s that covid vaccine has limited shelf-life
- Credit: West Suffolk CCG
A Suffolk doctor has warned under 40s that the limited shelf-life of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine means it could be thrown out as some people struggle to get appointments in the latest jab roll-out.
GP at Woolpit Health Centre Richard West said keeping the "unstable" vaccine - which is being offered to under 40s due to Oxford/AstraZeneca blood clot concerns - at a certain temperature means the surgery would have been in danger of throwing it away if people had not come forward.
The GP surgery sent over 3,000 texts to patients but did not get much take up until Mr West said they might have to throw the vaccine away on the radio and on social media.
"I've caused a bit of chaos," he admitted, as the phone lines were jammed as people booked appointments this morning.
But Mr West added: "When you have 1,200 [vaccines] to do in two days you haven't got a lot of flexibility.
You may also want to watch:
"It's taken an awful lot of effort to get everyone in to get every dose.
"We just have 72 hours to use it in, which is a very limited period of time."
Some Suffolk patients have reported to this newspaper being told through the NHS to travel to Southampton to get their Covid-19 vaccine.
- 2 Ipswich Town's 2021/22 League One fixtures revealed as Blues start at home
- 3 Six senior players - including Downes - will start pre-season with Under-23s
- 4 Ipswich home transformed on BBC's Homes Under the Hammer
- 5 Man arrested after more than 80 vehicles checked on day of action
- 6 Sam Smith spotted in Suffolk - and could be recording a new album
- 7 Police unlock county lines drug dealer's phone with first guess at password
- 8 A12 reopens after three-vehicle crash
- 9 Tattoo studio owner fined after refusing to close in lockdown
- 10 Country inn acquired from Jamie Oliver's parents reopens following facelift
But Mr West claims lockdown easing and the younger vaccine recipients has also made it harder to get patients booked in.
"Young people don't see a risk to them," he said. "When we started [vaccinating] in lockdown, you could either stay in your home or get vaccinated."
But now, he said, people are out and about and they think they can "do it tomorrow".
"It's a short time window we have at the [Woolpit Health Centre]."
People who have had their first vaccine are also less at risk of going to the hospital or getting Covid-19 amid concerns that the Indian variant - which has been detected in Suffolk - could hold up the relaxation of lockdown.
Mr West said this could "potentially cause a problem" and urged people to take the first vaccine appointment offered by their GP, or NHS booking service.