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UK To Face 'Significant Reduction' In Vaccine Supplies From 29 March

UK To Face 'Significant Reduction' In Vaccine Supplies From 29 March

The delay is expected to last four weeks

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

The UK could be set to face a 'significant reduction' of the coronavirus vaccination from 29 March, according to an NHS England letter.

The letter has been sent to local centres across the country which have been offering the vaccinations, and states that volumes for first doses are going to be 'significantly constrained'.


The low number of doses are linked to 'reductions in national inbound vaccine supply'.

Today national booking for everyone over 50 opened up and vaccinations centres will be focusing on people that come in the first nine cohorts - those most vulnerable to Covid-19.

The letter, which you can read here, begins: "We are writing to update you on the latest position on vaccine supply and deployment over the next six weeks.

"From the start of the programme, the NHS has successfully had to adjust week-to-week vaccine delivery in the light of fluctuations in supply. As previously notified, pleasingly this week and next see significant increases in vaccine supply.

"However, 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.

"They now currently predict this will continue for a four-week period, as a result of reductions in national inbound vaccines supply."


It goes on to add: "Inviting patients outside of cohorts 1- 9 is only permissible in exceptional circumstances.

"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.

"To ensure prioritisation compliance with minimum wastage, vaccination services working with their system must with immediate effect:

• Prioritise all short-life stock up to the week 29 March for use;

• Work with local authorities, voluntary community and faith sector organisations, to put in place reserve lists of people from eligible cohorts;

• Consider mutual aid between sites within the system, targeting areas of lower uptake, with reporting and recording completed and logged(;

• Declare excess long-life stock to regional leads where Cohorts 1 to 9 have been exhausted to enable allocations to be adjusted accordingly."

NHS England recommends that any unfilled bookings are closed to ensure no further appointments are loaded on to the National Booking System or the Local Booking Systems from 1 to 30 April.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Coronavirus, UK