Dr Hilary warns delays in vaccine supplies to disrupt lockdown end and summer holidaysMarch 18, 2021
Dr Hilary says vaccine supply issue could ‘delay’ lifting of lockdown
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Wednesday that Britains vaccine supply chain was experiencing delays. The shortages have forced the Government to delay the target date for inoculating the under-50s. Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Dr Jones informed viewers the hold-ups threatened to derail the UK’s timeline for the easing of restriction and the lifting of the lockdown.
Dr Jones told Good Morning Britain: “This hiccup with vaccine supply could threaten the easing of lockdown.
“If it delays things it could delay the under-40s getting there jabs on time to meet the criteria for the schedule.
“It means that people’s holidays could be delayed, it means that weddings could be delayed.
“So that is the consequence.”
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Sussane Reid jumped in and added: “The Government set four conditions for the route out of lockdown to proceed according to the dates.
“Number one condition was that the vaccine programme continued at pace.”
Dr Jones added: “We mustn’t forget that there were still 140 deaths yesterday, nearly a thousand people on ventilators to help them breathe, nearly 8,000 people in hospital.
“We mustn’t forget these figures.”
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In comes after a letter, sent to local health organisations by the NHS, stated: “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 29 March, meaning volumes for first doses will be significantly constrained,” the letter states.
“They now currently predict this will continue for a four-week period, as a result of reductions in national inbound vaccines supply.”
The letter added that inviting people for jabs who are not in the top nine priority groups is “only permissible in exceptional circumstances”.
It stated: “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.”
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a “standard” letter and said the NHS regularly sent them out to explain the “ups and downs” of supply.
BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reported there would be fewer AstraZeneca vaccines than expected due to the company’s international supply.
She tweeted: “Govt became aware of problem with vaccine shortage in last 48 hours. Issue is with AZ international supply, not UK.
“Seems all manufacturers apart from Pfizer having supply issues – some AZ batches that were expected to be available are not going to be.”
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