NHS staff ‘allowed to offer spare vaccine to friends and family under-70’

Staff working at Covid vaccine centres are being allowed to offer "spare" Pfizer jabs to friends and family, it has been reported.

The "friends and family list" is reportedly used to avoid any vaccine waste as it can only be stored for five days once thawed.

Friends and family members under 70 are understood to have been invited to get the jab at vaccine hubs in Buckinghamshire, South London, Kent and East Sussex.

A source told The Telegraph that staff working in Liverpool had even allegedly been allowed to give the vaccine to relatives and friends as young as 30.

According to the publication, a senior NHS source said anyone caught giving a vaccine to friends and family under 70 will face disciplinary action.

This is because the inoculation would go against Government guidelines and the step by step roll-out Boris Johnson announced.

The source reportedly told The Telegraph: "If friends and family are being vaccinated outside the top four groups we will be disciplining them and doing what we can to stop that happening.

"It's definitely outside of our policy."

Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust is among several sites operating a "friends and family list" – with relatives and pals of staff in their 50s allegedly offered the chance to come forward last week.

A spokesman said that it operated a friends and family scheme for staff, but insisted jabs had only been offered to those over 80.

Warrington Hospital in Cheshire have also reportedly been allowed to nominate people to receive leftover vaccine, but a spokesperson denied this, and said it was vaccinating in line with priorities set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

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Current figures from NHS England show that there are 300,000 people being vaccinated per day, with just under 1% of those being the second jab.

The government has said it needs to up the number of jabs per day, blaming suppliers for the speed in which Pfizer is being rolled out.

Ministers have pledged all UK adults will be offered their first dose by September, with Dominic Raab telling Sky News: "If we can do it faster than that, great, but that's the roadmap."

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