- Covid vaccination teams warned theft of jab packaging creates serious security risk
- Warning comes after reports of scammers offering jabs to vulnerable people for money
- Mass vaccination centres told to store packaging securely and destroy on site
Covid vaccination teams have been warned theft of the packaging used to store the doses poses a “significant security risk” so it must be destroyed appropriately after use.
NHS England sent out updated guidance this week on waste management during the pandemic, which included new information on the covid vaccination programme.
The guidance stated the packaging must be disposed of through existing confidential waste processes in GP surgeries and hospital hubs, or stored in secure containers and shredded on site at the mass vaccination centres.
There have been multiple reports of vaccine scammers who offer the jab, most likely to the elderly or vulnerable, in exchange for money.
The Local Government Association — the national membership body for councils — said council trading standard teams are receiving reports of scammers calling people to offer a vaccine or sending a text that directs recipients to a fake NHS website with a booking link.
NHSE’s covid vaccination programme has ramped up this month, now offering the jab to priority groups in community pharmacies and mass vaccination centres. This is on top of doses provided at primary care network vaccination centres and the hospital hubs, which were launched in December.
So far, more than 4.1 million doses of the vaccine have been given, 431,000 of which were a second dose.
HSJ approached NHSE for comment.