Leicestershire centres facing a slowdown in vaccine supply

By Graham Hill

5th Mar 2021 | Local News

Covid vaccine supply will slow down in Leicestershire this week and next, it is understood,

Vaccination sites across the area will be receiving less doses than in previous weeks due to what have been described as 'low supply weeks'.

Earlier this week, Ashby Nub News reported that Castle Medical Group on Burton Road said that the North West Leicestershire vaccination hub at Measham Leisure Centre had not received the vaccine supples it had been expecting Castle Medical explains vaccination wait.

A source told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that 'low supply weeks were planned into the national vaccination programme over this week and next', and added that a 'bumper' supply will be delivered across the country to kick in the week after as efforts to vaccinate all over-50s by mid-April pick up pace.

Caroline Trevithick chief nurse at Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's CCGs told a health scrutiny meeting last night: "We are on a 'just in time' model so we have enough capacity to deliver the vaccines we are issued, so at the moment some of that capacity isn't in use because we know we have a reduced amount of supply across the whole country.

"But we also know in two weeks' time, from March 15, the number of vaccines coming into the system increases tremendously and we are matching our capacity to meet that.

"That will coincide with additional cohorts being open so that we have got the people coming through as much as we have the vaccine coming in."

As a result of the lower supply making its way to the area, it is understood some hospital hubs will be temporarily closing or operating at a reduced capacity over this week and next.

Hospital hubs were originally set up to provide staff vaccinations but have been offering appointments in addition to the existing vaccine venues across LLR as and when supply has been available.

From time to time there will be planned temporary closures or reduced hours at the hubs as a result of lower supply, but this will not impact on the local rollout or the drive to meet the Government's mid-April target of offering a first dose to all over 50s.

There are more than 25 venues across the city, county and Rutland giving the injections including a mass vaccination site at the Peepul Centre, pharmacists, GP surgeries and sites such as the Leicester Racecourse.

Health bosses have said that all those who are eligible for a jab will still be invited and all of the vaccine doses arriving in the city will be used as quickly as possible.

Health workers in the area have been told that the lull is down to work to increase capacity in the manufacture of the vaccine.

Data released last week showed a drop off in the number of vaccines being given locally, further figures will be released later today, expecting to reflect the low supply.

Earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock updated MPs in the House of Commons on the vaccine rollout.

In his update, he described day-to-day vaccine supply as 'lumpy'.

"I'm pleased to inform the House that we're now inviting over-60s to be vaccinated too, although the day-to-day figures of supply are lumpy, we have some bumper weeks ahead later this month," he said.

"Given that our vaccination programme began 12 weeks ago today, from now we begin in earnest our programme of second vaccinations which ramps up over the month of March.

"I can assure the House that we have factored these second jabs into our supply projections and we're on track to meet our target of offering a vaccine to all priority groups one to nine by April 15 and all adults by the end of July."

     

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