Furious medics say they were told to bin leftover Covid-19 ­vaccines rather than give patients or frontline staff second jabs.

There were reports of doctors at six workplaces dumping vaccines and GPs being ordered not to give second shots.

British Medical Association chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said this was ­“absolutely unacceptable” and urged NHS England to clarify that doctors can use unused vaccines on, if necessary, patients in other priority groups.

Yorkshire GP Dr Brian McGregor and Dr Bob Morley, of GP support group Birmingham Local Medical Committee, claimed NHS England had ordered staff to dispose of unused doses rather than give a second jab.

Dr Morley said: “This is ridiculous bordering on the criminal, to waste vaccines when you have the worst global healthcare crisis for a century.”

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Cubicles erected inside Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, for people to receive an injection of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

Salisbury Cathedral provides a heavenly setting for jabs as it a transformed into a vaccine hub – with live classical music playing in the background to “give people a nice ambience to relax”. Patients aged 80 and above from three healthcare practices in the district were invited for shots this weekend. David Halls, the cathedral’s director of music, selected “lovely soothing Bach, Handel and Pachelbel”, adding: “The mood is one of calm.”
(Image: PA)

He said some surgeries defied this but fear funding or contracts are now at risk.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics face waiting three months for a second Pfizer jab –not the three weeks which clinical trials suggest gives them the best protection.

They face a similar wait for the Oxford vaccine, just 64.1% effective after one dose but 70% effective at reducing severe illness.

Many Covid jabs have been binned rather than given out
(Image: PA)

The UK’s chief medical officers recommended the second dose of both vaccines were pushed back so more people could get a first jab.

But the levels of immunity and how long it may last remain unclear, especially with the Pfizer jab.

Calls are growing to ensure frontline NHS staff get both doses as planned.

Dr Claudia Paoloni, president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, said: “Medically vulnerable NHS hospital staff are being made guinea pigs in an involuntary clinical trial.”

A picture of a syringe in front of a depiction of a Covid virus microbe

The Government aims to jab 13million by mid-February
(Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

A British Medical Association survey found one in five doctors were still waiting for a first jab and just 12% had received a second dose.

Two NHS nurses were reported to have contracted Covid-19 after receiving their first jabs.

And research found healthcare staff are 12 times more likely to get the virus. Families of NHS heroes killed by Covid support frontline medics getting both jabs without delay.

Nurse Estelle, whose GP husband Karamat Mirza, 84, also died in May, said: “They are exposed all the time. It isn’t like being told you can’t have a flu jab. This is a deadly killer.”

In England, up to 150,000 Pfizer ­vaccines, which has a short shelf life once defrosted, may have been binned.

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It comes as more than a million letters are ­going out to over-80s inviting them to book a jab.

Ten new vaccine hubs – including a rugby ground and a racecourse – will open ­tomorrow, joining the seven that are already in operation.

They will be working alongside the 1,000 GP surgeries, 200 pharmacies and 250 hospitals now offering shots.

The Department and Social Care said giving as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing two doses in as short a time as possible, will lead to “reducing deaths and starting to ease pressure on our NHS”.

NHS England said there was no reason to waste vaccines. A spokesman said: “Local vaccination sites should be managing their appointment lists to ensure all appointments are filled and they have a back-up list of patients and staff who can receive the vaccine at short notice.”

Meanwhile, a further 5,000 troops may be called up to help out amid fears the Government could miss its target of giving 13 million doses by mid-February.

A source said: “The Government is only using a fraction of what the armed forces can offer. We have trained personnel ready. There is a lot of head-scratching going on as to why a greater role hasn’t been given to the armed forces.”

The Ministry of Defence said: “There are 5,600 military personnel supporting the response, with approximately 8,400 held at readiness. The MoD continues to work with authorities to identify where it can most effectively offer support.”

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