A HOSPITAL has confirmed the number of non-priority people who wrongly received the Covid-19 vaccine after turning up without an appointment.

The Northern Echo understands that dozens of people attended Darlington Memorial Hospital on Friday and Saturday after hearing that Covid vaccines were being given to people without appointments and who weren't in Covid-vulnerable groups.

A 'miscommunication' led to key workers such as teachers believing that they would be given the vaccine even though they are not a high priority group to receive the jab in this first roll-out phase.

A spokesperson for the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has now confirmed that three of those people received the vaccine at the Darlington hospital.

She said that a miscommunication on social media, which came from outside of the NHS, led to people attending the hospital wrongly believing they would be vaccinated.

She added: "Three of these people received a vaccination.

"Our vaccination team on site worked to resolve this as quickly as possible sharing the correct information and advising those who attended why they couldn’t be vaccinated at that time.”

One man in his mid-50s, told The Northern Echo that he received the vaccine despite not being in a priority group.

He said: "I just turned up at the hospital on Friday.

"I told them I was a key worker, but they didn’t ask for proof or anything.

"I believe anybody could have just turned up and got one."

Currently the official Government guidance states that the only people who should be receiving the vaccine first are the elderly, care home residents and frontline health and social care workers.

Other key workers are not on the priority list, unless they fall into the categories of being 'clinically extremely vulnerable' or have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious illness or death from Covid.

There have been calls that key workers such as police officers, bus drivers and teachers should move up the priority list and this week the Government announced that up to 2,000 people working in roles in the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain will be offered jabs.

The move follows a plea from vaccine developer AstraZeneca to protect workers involved with the manufacture of the vaccine to ensure the supply chain runs smoothly.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said staff working for Pfizer and AstraZeneca that are involved in crucial supply chain roles in the UK will be among those eligible for the jabs.

The employees will be the first group of key workers outside of the NHS, social care and care home workers to be vaccinated.