Stamford and Peterborough hospitals will not give inpatients Covid-19 vaccine
Patients admitted to hospital will not receive the Covid-19 vaccination as a matter of course, according to a local chief medical officer.
The Mercury was contacted by the husband of a 76-year-old patient from Stamford who was admitted Peterborough City Hospital with a severe chest infection.
He fears that without a vaccination, she is vulnerable to catching the coronavirus during her hospital stay.
He said: “We learned that, while in hospital, she had been in contact with someone who had Covid-19.
“Fortunately she was tested for the virus and it was negative, but the longer she is in hospital, the more likely it is she will be in contact with people who have the infection.”
He added: “It makes me wonder how many patients have died unneccessarily, because they have caught Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital for another reason.”
Dr Kanchan Rege, chief medical officer for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City and Stamford hospitals,said the reason for not vaccinating patients was down to their use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which needs to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, and once defrosted, the entire batch must then be used within three days.
Dr Rege said: “As a trust we do not usually vaccinate our inpatients.
“As an acute hospital site we only stock supplies of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
“This particular vaccine requires close management to ensure that all doses are used without wastage. Once defrosted and opened, the tray of Pfizer vaccines which contains 1,170 doses must be used within five days.
“There is also a small chance that the vaccine can make people feel slightly unwell, so we do not want to make our inpatients feel worse when they have been admitted as this may impede their recovery and discharge.
“Additionally, since the second doses have to be administered at the same venue, a second visit to hospital would be necessary rather than having the vaccines closer to home.
“The primary care networks have been vaccinating patients very successfully – including using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine which can be administered more flexibly, including in people’s homes.”
Peterborough City Hospital was named as a vaccination hub at the end of last year.
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