Jab numbers up despite vaccine supply delays

The number of people getting their first COVID-19 jab in Hartlepool has risen, despite vaccine supply constraints, new figures show.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:58 am
A coronavirus vaccination

Data from NHS England shows that shows that 1,044 first doses of the vaccine were administered in the area in the week to April 11 – 255 more than the week before.

Hartlepool is one of only 23 areas in the country to see a rise in first jabs during the week.

NHS England warned last month that supply issues would mean priority for the jabs would be given to those in the high-risk groups and second doses.

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Nationally, 355,000 first doses of the vaccine were administered in the week – the lowest number in five weeks and 47% fewer than the previous week.

A delay in deliveries from India and the need to retest a batch of 1.7 million doses is behind the issues with vaccine supply in April.

Local health leaders were told to focus efforts on the top priority groups in a letter signed by Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director for primary care for the NHS in England.

It said: "Those aged under 49 should not be offered vaccination unless they are clinically vulnerable, an unpaid carer or frontline health and care workers."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Our vaccination programme continues to make phenomenal progress – with over 40 million vaccines administered so far.

"We have hit our target to offer a vaccine to everyone in phase one of the vaccination programme and we are on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.”