Vaccine manufacturing is lumpy, supply not as good as hoped, United Kingdom says

18 Janvier, 2021, 15:24 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • NHS staff

The UK is vaccinating 140 people per minute against the novel coronavirus on average, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday.

"It's been a bit lumpy", Zahawi said of vaccine manufacture.

Zahawi told LBC radio that Britain was hoping for 2 million vaccines a week from AstraZeneca by the end of January but that those numbers would not be reached until mid February.

Last Wednesday, AstraZeneca's United Kingdom president said the firm would scale up to 2 million doses a week on or before the middle of February.

"There's bound to be delays".

Mass COVID-19 vaccines are seen as the best way to exit the pandemic, which has killed more than 2 million people worldwide, wiped out trillions of dollars in economic output and upended normal life for countless people.

"That could delay supply but I'm confident we can meet our target".

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Zahawi told Times Radio that the second dose of vaccines "are absolutely going to go ahead" and those who had received a jab already "will have to have that second dose within that 12 week period".

The United Kingdom is vaccinating 140 people per minute against COVID-19 on average.

The government wanted all adults to have been offered a first vaccination by September, he said, adding: "If we can do it faster than that, great. That's the average so some areas are doing better", news agency Reuters quoted Zahawi as saying.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement that the expansion of vaccinations "does not mean our focus on getting care homes, health care staff and those aged 80 and over vaccinated is wavering - it will remain our utmost priority over the coming weeks".

"Today, in some areas where they've done the majority of their over 80s, letters are going out to the over 70s and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable", he said.

Zahawi also confirmed the United Kingdom will pilot 24-hour vaccination centers in London by the end of January.

Essential workers such as teachers, the police and shop assistants could move to the top of the list for a vaccine once all those over 50 have been offered a shot, Zahawi said.

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