Coronavirus vaccinations have been rolled out across the UK, with 27,032,671 jabs given so far. Vaccinations are key to releasing the UK from lockdown, with the Prime Minister’s lockdown roadmap hinging on data to enable businesses to reopen, holidays within the UK to take place and family and friends to see each other again.
Is the UK’s vaccine roll out delayed?
There will be a “significant reduction” in weekly vaccine supply from the end of March, the NHS in England has said.
A letter to local health leaders states that “volumes for first doses will be significantly constrained”.
“The Government’s Vaccines Task Force have now notified us that there will be a significant reduction in weekly supply available from manufacturers beginning in the week commencing March 29, meaning volumes for first doses will be significantly constrained,” the letter from NHS England leaders states.
“They now currently predict this will continue for a four-week period, as a result of reductions in national inbound vaccines supply.”
Vaccination centres are being told from this week to closed empty bookings from March 29 onwards, and to not schedule appointments in April.
With over 50s told to book their vaccine, this could cause disappointment and delays for those in the younger age groups.
NHS England has said it is “vital” second doses of the COVID-19 jab are delivered to plan.
Today Health Secretary Matt Hancock hosted a Downing Street press conference and said there would be a focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable before moving on to the over-40s but warned the UK would do “everything necessary” to ensure supplies continue.
He told the Downing Street press conference: “We’re on track to offer a first dose to everyone in priority groups one to nine by April 15.
“While we deliver on that commitment, we also want to ensure that this offer reaches everyone in groups one to nine.
“At the same time as opening up offers of vaccinations to all those who are 50 or above, we are going to do whatever it takes to reach all those in the most vulnerable groups who haven’t come forward yet before we move onto the next cohort, which is people in their 40s.
“Before we forge ahead I want us to be confident that we’ve done everything we can to protect those most in need of protection and we will do all we can and do everything necessary to deliver the supplies that are contractually committed to protecting people in this country.”