GPs leading Britain’s major vaccination campaign have been forced to interrupt vaccinations to catch up with other parts of the country, it was claimed today.
Practices that have already vaccinated every patient over 80 and are now trying to distribute the shots to people over 70 have their labor canceled by NHS leaders, said The Telegraph.
Government sources claim that ministers are deliberately trying to distribute limited supplies in case the immunization program is accused of being a postcode lottery.
Dr. John Bedson, a general practitioner in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, claimed his practice had not been able to vaccinate a single patient today, despite operations in more affluent areas of North Staffordshire that already involved ‘thousands’ of doses.
Matt Hancock hinted today that there was a lack of supply behind the decision to delay jabs despite the vaccination schedule desperately needing to get underway to reach the goal of injecting 13 million Britons by mid-February.
When asked about reports that GPs have to interrupt vaccinations to catch up with other practices, the health secretary told BBC Radio’s 4 Today program: ‘The rate-limiting step in the rollout is the delivery of the vaccine itself.
‘We are now managing to bring in that supply more than before and it will increase in the coming weeks. We have the capacity to get that vaccine out. The challenge is that we have to get the vaccine.
“What I know is that the supply will increase in the coming weeks and that means that the lightning-fast pace we are working on will accelerate further in the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, homeless people in Oldham, Greater Manchester, were given a dose of the vaccine today – despite the fact that 60 percent of people over 80 in the UK have still not been stabbed.
Lee Ullha gets injection of Covid-19 vaccine at Depaul UK homeless shelter in Oldham as Greater Manchester Council has rolled out vaccines for homeless people – despite 60 percent of UK over 80s still not having been immunized
Dr. John Bedson, a primary care physician in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, claimed today that his practice had not yet been able to vaccinate a single patient, despite suckers in more affluent areas of North Staffordshire already taking ‘thousands’ of doses administered
The urge to vaccinate in Britain is starting to pick up after the approval of the Oxford vaccine, but since its launch in early December, only 2.43 million people have been vaccinated against the disease.
An additional 20,000 second doses were added to the cumulative total, for a total of 2.8 million shots.
Boris Johnson says Britain will hand out jabs 24/7 ‘as soon as we can’
Boris Johnson has confirmed that Britain will be handing out Covid-19 vaccines ‘as soon as we can’ 24 hours a day under increasing pressure to step up the immunization schedule.
During the Prime Minister’s questions, the Prime Minister said, ‘I can tell Sir Kier that we will move to 24/7 as soon as possible. And (the health secretary) Matt Hancock will talk more about that in due course.
He added, “As he rightly says, right now is the limit on the supply.”
According to reports, ministers today were preparing to stamp plans for trials of 24-hour vaccinations after vowing under tremendous pressure to accelerate the rollout.
A senior government source said No10 was considering a ‘pilot offering vaccinations for longer hours’ to gauge whether there is enough demand to keep jab hubs open all night.
But there are serious doubts whether they can implement the plan, amid growing concerns about vaccine supplies – with Mr Hancock hinting this morning that this was behind the decision to delay injections in parts of the country.
But the daily vaccination rate must double if the Prime Minister has any chance of delivering on his promise to vaccinate all 13.9 million Britons in the top four priority groups by February 15.
With only 34 days left to live up to its promise, approximately 11.5 million over-70s, NHS workers, nursing home residents and workers and adults with underlying conditions still need to be vaccinated – the equivalent of about 340,000 a day.
It’s because a primary care physician on the front lines of the coronavirus has accused the NHS of “ discriminating ” his patients – after not being able to vaccinate anyone over the age of 80.
Dr. Bedson, of Mayfield Surgery in Longton, said his area has lost it to more affluent parts of North Staffordshire that have already administered thousands of doses of the vaccine.
He claimed that NHS personnel in his area have also been denied their second Covid-19 shot. The GP has blamed the Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group’s failure to supply refrigerators and vaccines.
Dr. Bedson said, “I feel my patients are being discriminated against within South Stoke Primary Care Network (PCN). To date, we have not been able to vaccinate an 80-year-old.
It is clear that Stoke-on-Trent North, Newcastle and the Staffordshire Moorlands have received large numbers of vaccines that have been used.
‘In areas like Alton and Cheadle, all over-80s have been vaccinated. Last weekend, more than 1,000 over-80s were vaccinated at the County Showground in Stafford. ‘
He added: ‘There are three immunization centers in North Stoke and three in Newcastle – and only one in South Stoke for the time being.
“There have been ongoing delays due to Stoke CCG to allow for more vaccination centers for the Longton area.
‘Initially we were going to have clinics on January 4, but the CCG did not provide the right equipment, including refrigerators.
This was then reverted to January 11, and now January 15. Apparently, we can expect about 1,300 vaccines for all of South Stoke next week.
Plus, clinical staff have rightly been given a second vaccine in other primary care networks, but clinicians in the south of the city have only received one.
“The government has now made it clear that no more second vaccinations may be given to clinical staff.”
Dr. Bedson said, “I understand this is a national policy, but there is another level of discrimination here and I believe it leaves myself and my colleagues in a more vulnerable position when I deal with this terrible disease on a daily basis.
I spoke to our own head of vaccination operations in Staffordshire, who couldn’t tell me why certain practices had been given the go-ahead to vaccinate while others were deployed in later waves like us.
‘We have been ready for several weeks and have the capacity in our own practice to deliver 750 vaccines per week.
“However, we were told that no general practice was being considered for this at the moment.”