A leading family doctor has warned there is a ‘real risk’ that doses of the Pfizervaccine could go to waste this week because of the Government’s last-minute change on the second jab.
Dame Clare Gerada, a former chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a practising GP, said the timing of the decision to delay the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for the elderly from 21 days to 12 weeks was ‘wrong.’
She added that because of the difficulties in contacting about one million elderly people to cancel their second jab and arrange new appointments for others, many doses could be lost – spelling a ‘disaster.’
Her comments came as members of the Doctors’ Association described the decision to delay the dose as a ‘gamble’, which could dent public confidence in the entire vaccination programme.
Almost one million Britons, mostly in their 80s and older, were due to receive the booster dose over coming days.
However on December 30, the Government’s Join Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said that the second dose of the joint Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would now be given 12 weeks after the first.
After a backlash from doctors, the British Medical Association has vowed to support GPs who decide to honour their January appointments.
The change in policy is designed to ensure as many people as possible are offered some protection against Covid-19.
But Dame Clare told the Daily Mail: ‘There is a big possibility that vaccines could go to waste. It would be a disaster.
Imagine if you have had 1,000 delivered and you are in a rural area and you are suddenly having to find a new 600 people to be vaccinated.’
She added that she agreed with the science behind the decision to postpone the second vaccine, but not the execution.
‘It’s a mess,’ she said. ‘I don’t think it’s wrong to try to give as many people the first vaccine as possible, but I do think announcing it late on the 30th …They could have delayed it a week. It would have been better to get the elderly back and done and dusted so we know they are safe.’
Read the article here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9109315/Top-GP-warns-Boriss-U-turn-Covid-19-second-jab-cause-disastrous-waste-vaccine.html