Queue-jumpers pretend to be health workers to get early vaccine as UK set for jab del…


Queue-jumpers have been posing as health workers to cheat their way to an early Covid vaccine as Britain prepares for a four-week jab drought.

Officials say they fear fraudulent bookings will spike before the delay in the rollout expected next month.

Bhaveen Patel, who runs a vaccination clinic in Brixton, south London told The Sunday Times that he turns away at least 15 bogus applicants every day.

He said: “We’re getting a lot more people claiming to be unpaid carers now.

“We’ve had to call the police a few times because of it. We’ve had people shouting, screaming, swearing.”

He added: “The checking of ID should be done at the website stage.”

Anyone can book an appointment online by ticking the box saying they work as a health care worker in some capacity.

But the NHS have said those who arrive at centres will not be vaccinated without showing “official proof”.

Members of the public receive a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine at Lichfield cathedral
Part of the problem is a delay of around 5million doses of the AstraZeneca jab that were due from India

It comes after a bombshell NHS England letter last Wednesday admitted there will be “significant reduction” in supply from March 29.

On Tuesday there were just 305,087 jab appointments booked in England – which leapt to 708,927 on Wednesday.

The issues will continue for an estimated four weeks meaning that in April, priority will be given to over-50s and second doses.

Under-50s in England must now wait until at least the start of May for their inoculation to start.

The revelations have dashed claims made last Sunday that all over-40s could have had a first dose by Easter.

Part of the problem is a delay of 4million to 5million doses of the AstraZeneca jab that were due from India’s Serum Institute.

Another setback is the need to retest 1.7million doses to ensure their stability, although the health secretary has not specified why they need to be checked.

The Department of Health insists it is still on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.

Staff on the critical care unit at the Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge
The NHS has insisted that vaccinations will be denied to those who fail to show “official proof” of their status

On Saturday, Matt Hancock confirmed that more than half of the UK’s adult population has now received their first injection.

The news means more than 300,000 jabs were administered in just 24 hours.

Official figures show that up until March 18 the number of adults vaccinated was still 26,263,732 – under the midway point for vaccinating the entire nation.

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