Covid UK: Outrage as 'people jump vaccine queue' with NHS link

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Covid UK: Outrage as 'people jump vaccine queue' with NHS link

Non-priority groups including Public Health England workers and friends of NHS staff have been jumping the queue for the coronavirus vaccine jab.Ov

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Non-priority groups including Public Health England workers and friends of NHS staff have been jumping the queue for the coronavirus vaccine jab.

Over a hundred members of PHE staff at Porton Down, Wiltshire, have had the treatment, even though they are not in an of the qualifying categories.

The director at the facility insisted they were spare doses that would have gone to waste if they had not been used – but would not comment on the total.

Alex Sienkiewicz, Director at PHE Porton Down told MailOnline: ‘The local NHS have offered spare doses of vaccines, at short notice, to their own staff, local residents, and some PHE laboratory staff.’

Meanwhile friends and family of NHS and social care staff were also revealed to have been fraudulently getting Covid vaccine jabs – after organisers of the rollout failed to vet people who applied for appointments on a dedicated website link.

The booking internet address was supposed to be only for priority healthcare workers, but was shared among friends and family in Bromsgrove, Worcs.

Over a hundred members of PHE staff at Porton Down, Wiltshire, have had the treatment jabs

Over a hundred members of PHE staff at Porton Down, Wiltshire, have had the treatment jabs

Friends and family of NHS and social care staff in Bromsgrove also had jabs ahead of others

Friends and family of NHS and social care staff in Bromsgrove also had jabs ahead of others

It sparked an onslaught of appointments at the vaccination hub at the Artrix arts centre who were not asked for IDs so managed to get their jabs.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, which oversees the vaccination programme there, refused to comment on the claims except to blame a ‘national’ issue.

One worried worker who highlighted the problem to the CCG at the weekend received an email in response warning the activity was ‘fraudulent’ and people should not be sharing the link – but accepted further checks should have been taking place on site to prevent any abuse of the system.

Priority patients attend the NHS Nightingale North East hospital to receive their jabs

Priority patients attend the NHS Nightingale North East hospital to receive their jabs

SINGLE SHOT OF OXFORD’S JAB 76% EFFECTIVE FOR 12 WEEKS 

A single shot of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine is 76 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic illness and may have a ‘substantial effect’ on transmission, research suggests. 

In a huge boost to the UK’s immunisation drive, analysis of the jab trials found the first dose was extremely successful in preventing people from falling ill within the 12-week time window between getting a second dose.  

When the second dose is administered after three months, the jab’s efficacy is bumped up to 82.4 per cent, according to the study, which has been submitted to The Lancet for publication.  

The results, from more than 17,000 trial volunteers, suggest Britain’s vaccination gamble to delay its dosing regimen has paid off. 

In a bid to get wider vaccine coverage quicker, regulators pivoted from their original plan to give people their second dose after 21 days when the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab was approved in late December.

They pushed back the second dose for 12 weeks in the hope that giving partial protection to as many vulnerable people as possible would drive down hospital admissions. 

Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Really encouraging data from a new study today shows the Oxford/AZ vaccine provides significant protection against the virus.’ 

The strategy has helped make Britain a world-leader in vaccinations, with 9.6million people now injected with at least a single dose of either Pfizer’s or AstraZeneca’s jab.  

The email, from the local NHS Staff Covid Helpline team, said: ‘We are aware the link was fraudulently shared by people on social media and forwarded incorrectly by email.

‘This is fraud by those who have undertaken this and those who have booked vaccination slots in this way.

‘Unfortunately there are people in society who behave like this.’

The email added: ‘We are in the process of strengthening the message for the staff at the Artrix Centre around eligibility checks, which should be in place.’

And they conclude: ‘Please rest assured, we are doing our best. This is the biggest vaccination programme in history and the public reaction to this is unlike any we have ever encountered, which is causing challenges such as this up and down the country.

‘We are doing our best to manage the messages and process around this, including being clear on the eligibility criteria for those being vaccinated in the priority groups and in checking eligibility at the sites we manage.’

A resident who got in touch said it was ‘a shambles’, and said he knew of four people who had been vaccinated when they should not have been.

‘None of them work in care or the NHS. I am gobsmacked this is being allowed to happen,’ he told Birmingham Live.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG did not respond on whether anyone was vaccinated outside of priority groups.

A statement said: ‘The NHS in Worcestershire provides vaccination appointment slots in line with the priority groups set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and in accordance with national guidance.

‘There were some reported issues nationally with the booking system, these have been resolved and only those identified by NHS number as falling within the eligible cohorts will now be able to book a slot once they are invited to do so.’

Shaun Dix, a spokesman for NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire clinical commissioning group, told The Guardian: ‘The staff at Porton Down have been offered the coronavirus vaccine due to the very nature of their work, which involves closely examining Covid-19, and its emerging variants, on a daily basis.’

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