Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street press conference that vaccine supply was "always lumpy" and insisted the nation was on track to meet the target.
After NHS leaders claimed the UK faced a month-long shortage, Pfizer and AstraZeneca declared there is no threat to Covid vaccines supplies. Those two manufacturers said they continued course to meet delivery commitments, refusing any disruption to supplies. This statement made a contradiction from the NHS letter.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer contradict Covid vaccines deficit
Vaccination centres and community pharmacy-led services were told to close unfilled bookings and “ensure no further appointments are uploaded” to booking systems next month.
NHS bosses said that as a result of the supply issues, people under the age of 50 should only get the jab if they are in a priority group. It means younger adults should wait a little longer. Pfizer spokeswoman said deliveries “remain on track” for the first quarter of its 40 million dose agreement with the UK, with a “steady supply of vaccines” delivered to the nation.
Then an AstraZeneca said in a statement, “Our UK domestic supply chain is not experiencing any disruption and there is no impact on our delivery schedule.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street press conference that vaccine supply was “always lumpy” and insisted the nation was on track to meet the target of offering the first dose to all over-50s by April 15.
Asked about the letter, 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. And, of course, these supply schedules have moved up and down throughout this whole rollout. It’s absolutely par for the course and that’s a normal operation letter.”
He also added that the Government committed to all adults being able to get the jab by the end of July and still on track to deliver on that commitment. Elsewhere, the UK faces a possible block on doses from the European Union. It happened after Ursula von der Leyen warned the bloc would reflect on whether exports to countries that have higher vaccination rates than the UK are still proportionate.
The European Commission chief said she wanted “reciprocity and proportionality” in exports. It made pointing out that 10 million doses of vaccine had gone from the EU to the UK. Mr Hancock said the supply of vaccines to the UK from EU production facilities was fulfilling contractual responsibilities and still completely assume those contracts to be delivered on.