Nick Ferrari noted the number of first doses of coronavirus vaccine distributed dropped by over 500,000 in the early days of April compared to the numbers rolled out in March. The LBC presenter confronted Matt Hancock about the latest stats as he demanded an explanation for the significant gap between first and second jabs. Mr Ferrari said: “This country has enjoyed getting first dose vaccines out there.
“The numbers are sometimes 500,000-600,000 first dose vaccinations.
“You’ll be aware that this week it’s been 40-odd thousands and I think 60 or 70-odd thousands. Why the drop?”
Mr Hancock insisted the collapse in numbers was the result of a renewed focus on providing Britons who already received their first dose with their second.
He said: “We obviously got a huge number of second doses going out at the moment.
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“Yesterday we had several hundred thousands doses given, I don’t have the exact number in front of me.”
Mr Ferrari however interrupted the Health Secretary: “It was 186,000 second today, to support what you’re saying.
“But only 70-odd thousands of first doses. We can’t let the first doses miss out.”
The Health Secretary insisted the number of first doses would rise once again in the coming days as the UK is on track to meet its April target for all over-50s getting their jabs.
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The new strategy comes after new research found evidence of a link between the vaccine and increased blood clot risks.
The research into the Anglo-Swedish jab found 79 people had suffered from rare clotting and 19 had died after 20 million doses had been rolled out.
Mr Hancock urged the under-30s to take a jab to protect loved ones and avoid the risk of long Covid, adding there were plentiful supplies of Moderna and Pfizer for this age range.
All vaccines in use in the UK were “safe for all ages”, but the “extremely rare” risk of suffering a rare brain blood clot, and the tipping of the balance of risk for the under-30s, means they could be given other jabs instead.