An investigation has been opened into why six players and staff at Chesterfield were given the Pfizer vaccine, with local NHS officials saying it is “unacceptable to jump the queue”.
The PA news agency understands three players and three members of staff at the National League club received vaccinations at short notice last week at the Stubley Medical Centre in Dronfield.
The vaccine is currently being rolled out only to the most vulnerable in society and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has now opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this.
The CCG said in a statement released to the PA news agency: “It is unacceptable to jump the queue ahead of people most at risk of Covid-19 and the NHS guidance is clear that local vaccination services must manage their appointment lists to ensure all appointments are filled and they have a back-up list of high-risk people in Joint Committee on Vaccination and Drug Immunisation priority groups 1-4 (those aged 70 and over or who are clinically extremely vulnerable) who can receive the vaccine at short notice.”
The club said some of the six were classed as vulnerable and that they were told by the surgery that all other options had been exhausted and that the vaccine would have been wasted if they had not had the jabs.
It is understood the call to the club came about after earlier discussions in which they offered their facilities as a vaccination centre. The club are understood to have been told their staff could be put on a ‘standby list’ for a call if the surgery was unable to find anyone else willing to take up the appointments at short notice.
A statement from the National League club read: “A small number of Chesterfield players and staff – most of whom are classed as vulnerable people – have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
“In line with the NHS’ directive – that doctors and staff have the discretion to ensure that they can make full use of any unused vaccines, rather than have any go to waste – the people concerned were called at very short notice to receive the vaccine.
“They were only contacted after the surgery had exhausted all other viable options. Those involved were keen that these vaccines were not wasted, which would have been the case had they not received them.
“We continue to support the NHS’s brilliant work and have provided Covid-19 testing facilities at our stadium throughout the pandemic, so vital care can be administered.”