The BMA has said it is continuing to hear reports of CCGs ‘demanding that vaccines are thrown away’ rather than being given as second doses or to ‘other cohorts’.
Pulse revealed last month that GPs could give unused vaccines to the over 75s amid reports that some vials were being wasted due to NHS England red tape around second doses.
NHS England has since said that GPs can offer Covid jabs outside the first four priority cohorts if there is a ‘risk’ of vaccine wastage.
However, second doses for both staff and patients within 12 weeks of the first jab remain banned.
In its latest GP Committee update, the BMA said that vaccines ‘must not be deliberately wasted’ and reiterated that PCNs should set up reserve lists to make ‘every effort’ to use all stock.
The email update, sent to practices on Friday, said: ‘We continue to have reports of some CCGs demanding that vaccines are thrown away rather than giving second doses or vaccinating other cohorts.
‘We would like to reiterate that NHSE/I has made it clear that the top priority is that all vaccines be used and therefore must not be deliberately wasted.’
It added: ‘All sites should have reserve lists that they can use to make every effort to invite patients or healthcare professionals to ensure that they can make full use of any unused vaccines rather than have any go to waste.’
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘As has been said repeatedly, there is absolutely no reason why a vaccine should be wasted, and there is no evidence this is happening.
‘Doctors and other staff at vaccination sites have been asked to have plans in place to ensure that all vaccines are used, including having reserve lists of patients in priority cohorts that can be called for a jab at short notice.’
Following ongoing confusion and controversy around vaccine wastage policies, NHS England clarified ‘three key rules’ for vaccine deployment, including no wastage, second doses given only after 12 weeks and JCVI priority groups one and two offered a jab first.
It has said that GPs are ‘strongly recommended’ to set up reserve lists of patients who can attend for vaccinations ‘at short notice’ and that GPs can offer Covid jabs outside priority cohorts if vaccine risks being wasted.
NHS England previously said there was ‘absolutely no reason’ why vaccines should be wasted and that practices should start vaccinating the next cohort if none from the first two were ‘left’ to receive their first dose.