Wednesday, May 12, 2021
HomeNumber of Covid-19 jabs ‘constrained’ for four weeks, NHS leaders warn

Number of Covid-19 jabs ‘constrained’ for four weeks, NHS leaders warn

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The number of people getting the first dose of their Covid-19 jab will be “constrained” as a result of a “significant” reduction in the vaccine supply available, health officials have said.

NHS leaders said there will be a “significant reduction” in the vaccine supply from the week beginning March 29.

A letter to regional NHS bosses says that the reduction will continue for a “four-week period”.

As a result, health leaders have said that people under the age of 50 should only get the jab if they are in a priority group for the vaccine.

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 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 adds that inviting people for jabs 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.”

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