LONDON (March 18, 2021)—there is a covid vaccine shortage in the United Kingdom (UK) but Pfizer and AstraZeneca have insisted there is no threat to the COVID -19 vaccine supplies after NHS leaders claimed the UK faced a month-long shortgage.
The two vaccine manufacturers both said they remained on course to meet delivery commitments, denying any disruption to supplies.
NHS leaders said there will be a “significant reduction” in the vaccine supply from the week beginning March 29th
A letter to regional NHS bosses says that the reduction will continue for a “four-week period”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press conference that the nation was “on course” to meet the target of offering a first dose to all over-50s by April 15.
Local health leaders have been told to focus efforts on the top priority groups in the NHS letter, signed by Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, and Emily Lawson, chief commercial officer.
They may also need to redeploy staff working in vaccination centres to other settings to try and increase uptake among the priority groups, it adds.
The letter adds that inviting people for injection who are not in the top nine priority groups is “only permissible in exceptional circumstances”.
It adds: “Those aged 49 years or younger should not be offered vaccination unless they are eligible via a higher cohort because they are e.g., clinically vulnerable, unpaid carer or frontline health and care workers.”
All adults are expected to be offered a vaccine by the end of July, according to the Ministers.
Asked about the issue at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing, Mr Hancock said: “Supply is always lumpy and we are on course to deliver the offer that everybody who is aged 50 and above will be able to get vaccinated by the 15th of April. I recommit to that today.
“We are committed to all adults being able to get the jab by the end of July and we are on track to deliver on that commitment.”
Source: Bee News Daily and the Guardian contributed to the article.