'Not one drop wasted': North Yorkshire vaccine centres set up reserve lists for last-minute Covid jabs to avoid waste
Vaccine centres in North Yorkshire have begun creating reserve lists of patients who can attend appointments at short notice in order to avoid doses being thrown away, an NHS official has said.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer at NHS North Yorkshire CCG, said the health service was "making sure not one drop of vaccine is wasted" by arranging last-minute jabs as she also expressed confidence that the county is on track to vaccinate all top four priority groups by mid-February.
"I would like people to share widely our confidence that we are getting on really well with this," she told a meeting of the county's outbreak management advisory board on Friday.
"Primary care networks and hospital hubs have worked really hard to make sure they've got reserve lists so people on standby can come in and get a vaccine at short notice.
"We were required to set up sites that covered a number of primary care networks which means there is a bigger population to access the vaccine to ensure absolutely none was wasted.
"That is the last thing that any of us would want."
The first-approved Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus jab needs to be kept at a temperature of about -70C, which is just one of many logistical challenges in the roll-out.
Mrs Bloor said the vaccine is transported in large trays and that vials containing the liquid had produced more doses than expected, meaning more people could be immunised sooner.
She said health and care workers and those who are able to travel to vaccine sites had been added to the reserve lists, and that more priority patients would follow as the roll-out expands.
Earlier this week, Mrs Bloor said the county was on course to give all care home residents and staff their first Covid-19 jab by Sunday.
Across the North East and Yorkshire, more than 705,000 people have so far received their first vaccine, the most granular publicly available data shows.
The government aims to offer vaccines to 15 million people - the over-70s, healthcare workers and those required to shield - by mid-February and millions more of the over-50s and other priority groups by spring.
They are thought to represent 90 to 99% of those at risk of dying from Covid-19.
By autumn, the rest of the adult population, another 21 million people, will be offered a vaccine - possibly prioritising front-line workers, such as the police, the fire service and teachers.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter