Health chiefs in Darlington have vented their frustration after more than 100 people failed to turn up to vaccine appointments over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Darlington Primary Care Network said 129 people did not attend for their second Covid-19 vaccine dose - forcing the clinic to run an extra session to avoid wasting time-limited Pfizer supplies.
Dr Amanda Riley, the network's clinical director, and CEO of Primary Healthcare Darlington, said: “To say the team were disappointed by the amount of no shows over the Bank Holiday weekend would be an understatement.
“Everyone should make every effort to attend vaccination appointments – but if circumstances change and you can no longer make it, please let us know as soon as possible."
Following the no shows, Darlington Primary Care Network took to Twitter to vent its frustration and call on those who don't intend to attend to cancel.
The tweet prompted a response from Darlington Borough Council to back the call and appeal for consideration over the supply of vaccines.
On Tuesday, May 4 2021, Darlington Primary Care Network commended its team's effort in running an additional unscheduled session on Bank Holiday Monday, and reassured the community that no vaccines were wasted.
“The clinics are planned very precisely, as we only have three days to use the Pfizer vaccine once it is delivered to us," Dr Riley added. "The high number of non-attenders resulted in the team having to run an extra session on Bank Holiday Monday, which meant phoning people in a rush to arrange appointments and giving up their precious day off.
"Through the amazing efforts of our team, no vaccine has been wasted.
“We understand that it can be frustrating not to get a choice of appointment for your second dose, but we are very limited on the appointments we can offer by our vaccine supply, which we get short notice of.
"We are trying our very best to give everyone as much notice as possible.
“Please be considerate of how your actions impact our communities, as well as your own health by delaying your second dose, which is essential to provide the full protection against Covid-19.”
Darlington GP, Professor Ahmet Fuat, said it was important that people get both vaccine doses within the 12-week timescale in order to better protect against the virus.
Darlington GP, Professor Ahmet Fuat