Covid vaccines are being returned by GPs who claim there is not enough demand to fill appointments, according to a report by the MailOnline.
Surgeries in some areas say that demand for the vaccines has dried up, forcing health bosses to redistribute their supplies to other locations where there is higher take-up.
The governments top scientists have warned the UK may have reached maximum uptake
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Mail Online reorts: No10’s scientific advisers say the UK may have already hit maximum uptake in its inoculation drive, with the number of first doses being dished out every day having halved in a fortnight to fewer than 60,000.
Just 18,186 first doses were administered yesterday, in the worst daily performance since the vaccination campaign began in December.
Experts say Britain is reaching a natural end to its inoculation drive, with the number of people wanting a jab running low.
This is despite NHS England figures suggesting there are still 1.7million 18 – 24 year olds yet to be jabbed. Young people are more reluctant to get the vaccine because they do not see the virus as a threat, scientists say.
A GP in the North of England told MailOnline they were struggling to fill vaccination appointments even though everyone is now eligible.
They said their surgery ended up sending back some Pfizer doses last week because they were nearing the end of their month-long expiry date.
This was the ‘first and only time’ they had returned any jabs during the eight-month drive.
The GP, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘We’ve found as we have got into lower age groups they seem more reluctant to come in.’
Surgeries have been allowed to return doses for redistribution throughout the roll-out, although this does not normally happen, sources claimed.
If unused they can be sent back to Primary Care Networks — local organisations run by GPs — which then send them on to areas looking for more doses.
A second GP from London, who also did not wish to be named, told MailOnline it was ‘correct’ that other centres were also having to return jabs.
Patients still looking to get their first or second dose at their surgery are now being redirected to centrally-run vaccination centres.
NHS England sources said where sites are not able to use their jabs, the supplies can be moved to different locations where there is higher demand.
But they warned the Pfizer jab must be used up to 12 hours after it is defrosted, and can only be taken on two journeys.
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