PFIZER has claimed there ARE enough vaccines to continue jabbing Britain – after Matt Hancock said earlier there may be some supply issues this week.
Health Sec Mr Hancock said this morning it would be a “quieter week” for the vaccine rollout, telling LBC’s Nick Ferrari it was “all about supply schedules” – and the nation will bounce back in March.
As of today there have been 17.7million doses dished out, but numbers have fallen in recent days – with yesterday just 141,000 jabs issued.
That compares to some days where the UK’s jabbing has reached nearly 600,000 in a 24-hour period.
The Government has vowed to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, and the over 50s by the end of April.
Mr Hancock added earlier today: “We have got a quieter week this week and then we’re going to have some really bumper weeks in March.”
He claimed there were “ups and downs” in delivering vaccines across the country which may cause some drops in vaccine numbers.
He said: ” It’s about the supply schedules. This is difficult stuff to make… we have seen ups and downs in the delivery schedule.
“I’d rather see the half a million days then the 200,000. We were able to bring forward the target from the end of April to mid-April because we have confidence in that supply over that timeframe. But you will have days that are a bit lower yes.”
However, Pfizer confirmed to The Sun today there were “no UK supply challenges” and deliveries were arriving as planned from Belgium.
They said there were no delivery schedule changes and they were working as agreed with the Government on the planned timetables.
NHS England suggested the drop may be down to other issues with the supply.
That also may include the batch testing for all the jabs to make sure they meet strict standards.
Once jabs come into the UK, they are passed over to the NHS for distribution.
Department for Health sources stressed there were no problems or issues with supply, but that it was a bit “lumpy” this week.
They were confident all targets would be met on time and as planned – and said more doses of the vaccine were expected in bigger numbers in the coming weeks and months.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last week: “Over the next couple of weeks we are getting slightly less in supply than we thought originally we would be getting.”
Downing Street insisted it remained confident in vaccine supplies despite falling numbers of doses being administered in recent days.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said earlier: “We continue to ensure that hundreds of thousands of people each day receive the vaccines.
“As we said from the start, there will be daily fluctuations in the number of people who receive it day-on-day but you are aware of our target to vaccinate all those within the first phase by mid-April and we are confident in our supply to be able to do that.”
That means offering a first dose to 32 million people across the UK by April 15.
The spokesman added that the Moderna vaccine will be available in the UK “in spring”, alongside the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs, to ensure that all adults can be offered a dose by the end of July.