The surgery which administered coronavirus vaccinations to six members of staff at National League club Chesterfield acted within NHS guidelines to ensure the jabs were not wasted, an investigation has concluded.
Three players and three non-playing staff were understood to have been given the Pfizer jabs earlier this year at the Stubley Medical Centre in Dronfield.
The matter was investigated by NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which said at the time of opening the probe that it was “unacceptable to jump the queue”.
But it has now concluded that the jabs were administered to the Chesterfield contingent in exceptional circumstances.
A statement from the CCG to the PA news agency read: “The NHS has a duty to follow up reports of vaccinations being administered to people outside of the cohorts as specified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
“As such, NHS Derby & Derbyshire CCG conducted a review of reported vaccinations outside of cohorts in one of our Local Vaccination Services (LVSs) on behalf of NHS England and Improvement.
“The review found that a small number of patients who were not at that point in an eligible cohort had been vaccinated; the principal aim of the LVS in taking this action was the avoidance of vaccine waste.
“This was done in line with NHS guidance that permits vaccinations for patients outside of the announced cohort in exceptional circumstances.
“The matter is now closed and we continue to be very grateful to staff at the Local Vaccination Service for their significant efforts and success in delivering the vaccination programme to date.”
The club said at the time the news emerged that 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.
Chesterfield said on Tuesday they would not comment further on the matter.
At the time the vaccinations were given, the NHS was working through those considered at highest risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19 infection, those aged 70 and over or who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
The Pfizer vaccine can be stored in a fridge below eight degrees Celsius for a few days, but before that it needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees.
Pfizer said last month data suggested the vaccine remained stable when stored at higher temperatures, at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees.