Any suggestion ‘precious’ vaccines should be thrown away should be dismissed, says RCGP

Responding to reports that some vaccine sites have been told to throw away leftover vaccines, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“Any suggestion that usable Covid-19 vaccines should be thrown away instead of being used to vaccinate should be dismissed out of hand.

"Our vaccine supply is precious and where possible, every dose should be used to protect patients from this terrible virus."

"GPs and our teams - and colleagues across the health service - are working incredibly hard to deliver the Covid vaccination programme and are making good progress with more than 3m of our most vulnerable patients protected from Covid-19. We’re following NHS England guidelines to prioritise patients in accordance with the JCVI’s prioritisation list. In cases where there may be spare vaccines, such as when patients do not turn up for their vaccination, GPs will use their clinical judgement and take sensible measures, such as contacting other vulnerable patients or frontline healthcare professionals, who are also on the Covid-19 vaccination priority list, to ensure that use of supply is maximised.

"The Covid-19 vaccine is our most important tool in protecting the population from the virus, and helping to get life back to normal. Both vaccines that we’re currently using in the UK have undergone rigorous testing to assure they are safe and effective - as such, we’d urge every patient to come forward and receive their jab when they are invited to do so."

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.