Non-priority people jump the queue for Covid jabs at Darlington hospital – The Northern Echo

VULNERABLE people prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine have apparently been leapfrogged by people who arrived at Darlington Memorial Hospital and received one without an appointment.

The Northern Echo has received reports from Darlington teachers and other key workers who arrived at the hospital on Friday night and Saturday morning and were given the vaccine after requesting one, despite not having an appointment, and in some cases, not on the list of those who are eligible.

Rumours began to circulate on social media leading to more people turning up at the hospital, an issue which a spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said was resolved “as quickly as possible”, but refused to deny that a number of jabs were given prior to this. 

Current Government guidance states that the first phase of vaccines should be administered to the elderly, care home workers and people with medical conditions that leave them vulnerable to the potentially fatal effects of the virus. The NHS messaging has also been very clear that people in those priority groups should wait to hear from their GP about when they will receive the vaccine.

A spokesperson for the trust added: “Since our vaccination programme started at the end of December, over 6,000 of our staff have received their first dose.

“In line with national guidance and as part of our planned vaccination programme, we are also working with our partners in health and social care, including funeral homes, offering vaccination to their teams.

“We’re vaccinating around 600 people daily, in addition to which our community teams are also now vaccinating those who are housebound.

“Unfortunately, on Saturday, a miscommunication on social media, from outside of the NHS, led to a number of people not in the national priority groups, believing they could attend for vaccination, which was not the case.

“Our vaccination team on site worked to resolve this as quickly as possible sharing the correct information and advising those who attended why they couldn’t be vaccinated at that time.”

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