Coronavirus vaccine wastage in Tayside is among the lowest in the country with just over 1,000 discarded since the programme began.
The Scottish Government had planned for a worst-case scenario of around 5% of Covid-19 jags ending up in the bin.
But across Scotland the figure is currently well below that at 1.8%. In Tayside the rate is just 0.54%, equating to 1,041 doses and less than 10 a day from mid-December to March 23.
Almost 60% of the adult population in Tayside have now received a first dose.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “Our clinics manage vaccines extremely well in order to minimise doses left unused at the end of each day.
“The number of unused doses on any given day is very low as vaccine vials are managed according to the number of appointments booked.
“If there are any vaccines available at the end of a clinic session, our vaccination teams will contact eligible people who can attend at short notice.”
Doses are thrown out for various reasons.
This is because they are damaged/dropped; the particulate is contaminated; there are reconstitution and dilution or storage issues, or doses are unused in multiple-dose vials.
Of the two vaccines currently being used, Pfizer generally has six doses in a vial and AstraZeneca has eight or 10.
Once opened, they should be used within a few hours.
Guidance currently states doses left over from vials destined for appointments missed or cancelled should be offered to people in the highest priority groups.
Staff at vaccination centres and GP practices have been calling those with upcoming appointments to check if they can come in sooner — usually within half an hour — to use up these vaccines.
‘Any waste is a real shame’
Philip Scott, Scottish Conservative candidate for Dundee City East, said: “The UK vaccination programme has been a massive success and represents the largest and most ambitious campaign of its kind in NHS history.
“I’d like to thank NHS Tayside staff and the army of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to vaccinate our most vulnerable people and are now making significant inroads into the rest of the adult population.”
Tess White, Scottish Conservative candidate for Dundee City West, added: “When dealing with such a major logistical challenge, unfortunately there is a host of things which can go awry.
“Thankfully this is a very small number of jabs which haven’t got to people as planned.
“Any waste is a real shame but Tayside have kept this to a minimum and the vaccine effort is continuing, determined as ever.”
The NHS Tayside spokesperson added: “Uptake levels for vaccination in Tayside remains above the Scottish average, with 60% of the adult population having had their first dose.
“It is encouraging that 91% of those eligible in Tayside in priority groups one to eight have so far had a first vaccination and appointments for cohort nine should be complete by early April.
“As with all appointments, there are some people who are unable to attend on the day and we would encourage them to reschedule by following the instructions in their appointment letter.
“People are also asked to ensure that their contact details at their GP surgery are up-to-date as vaccination appointment letters are sent to the address which people have registered with their GP practice.
“Anyone who has recently moved house, or thinks their details may be out-of-date, should get in touch with their surgery and update their address.”