Harborough Field Surgery in Rushden, in Northamptonshire, had been storing 975 doses of the Pfizer jab, which must be kept at around -70C before it is given out. After a successful round of appointments on Wednesday, the clinic was forced to cancel appointments on Thursday after several doses were lost.
One patient, 80, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘I was told that the vaccine was no longer available because they had had a problem with their fridge. I had been called about an hour before to come up for the appointment.’
Harborough Field Surgery is currently acting as a central hub for other clinics in the area to administer the jab to selected over-80s.
A spokesperson for the clinic said: ‘Harborough Field Surgery would like to apologise to our elderly and vulnerable patients who had their vaccination delayed yesterday and for the wait they experienced.
‘This vaccine poses a number of complex logistical challenges and must be stored at the correct temperature prior to use.
The surgery apologised for cancelling the vaccinations
‘We apologise for needing to reschedule some vaccinations, and will ensure people are invited again as soon as possible.’
Earlier this week former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt sparked concern when he appeared to say the Pfizer vaccine could run out as early as next month. No new delivery of the vaccine is scheduled until until March, he said.
Speaking on the Today programme this weekend, he expressed hope that the gap could be bridged by the approval of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine.
He said: ‘It [the roll-out of the Oxford jab] will make a massive difference because the doses that we have of the Pfizer vaccine will keep us going until the end of January and I think we’re not getting another shipment until March.
‘If we could have the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine ready to go until January then we could keep the roll-out going at the current pace.’