Vaccine roll-out hiccup as London surgery visited by Matt Hancock yet to receive supplies

But GP Ammara Hughes, a partner at the surgery, told Sky News that its first delivery of AstraZeneca’s vaccine had been pushed back 24 hours.

“We were expecting our first AstraZeneca 400 today, but we’ve had a pushback for 24 hours so we’re now getting that delivery tomorrow,” she said.

“It’s just more frustrating than a concern, because we’ve got the capacity to vaccinate and if we had a regular supply, we do have the capacity to vaccinate three to four thousand patients a week.”

Dr Hughes said the surgery had been giving patients the Pfizer vaccine since the middle of December, having received three deliveries so far.

She added: “So we’ve continued to vaccinate with Pfizer in the surgery, and what we’re hoping to do with the AstraZeneca when it arrives is to go out to the most clinically vulnerable and housebound. So that’s what we’ll be doing.

“We won’t start vaccinating within the surgery with our AstraZeneca doses until we’ve finished our Pfizer vaccines.”

She explained that she had raised the issue of the delivery of vaccine supplies with Mr Hancock.

“The Health Secretary was quite surprised actually to learn that we don’t know when all of our deliveries are coming, they’re very ad hoc,” she added.

“He has said he’ll take that back and look into it and see if we can be ensured regular deliveries.”

Mr Hancock insisted that the “rate limiting” factor in efforts to get people vaccinated was supply from the manufacturers.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to distribute than the Pfizer/BioNTech jab which was the first to be approved but has to be stored at minus 70 degrees C.

READ  Labour MP Gloria De Piero urges women to change parliament

Standing in front of Dr Hughes’s surgery, the Health Secretary said: “It’s great news this morning that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is from right now being rolled out to GP surgeries across the country.

“For the first three days with the Oxford vaccine we did it in hospitals to check that it was working well and it’s working well so now we can make sure that it gets to all those GP surgeries that like this one can do all the vaccinations that are needed.

“The rate-limiting step is the supply of vaccine. We’re working with the companies – both Pfizer and AstraZeneca – to increase the supply.”

The rapid expansion of the vaccination programme is key to the Government’s efforts to tackle coronavirus and lift England’s national lockdown.

More than 1.3 million people in the UK have already received the Covid jabs, including a quarter of the over 80s.

However, to achieve more than 13 million shots by mid-February, for the over 70s, frontline health and social care workers, as well as other individuals vulnerable to Covid. would require a huge step-up in delivery of vaccinations, to more than two million jabs a week.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.