Drug goliaths Pfizer and AstraZeneca have dismissed an NHS guarantee that the UK is confronting a COVID-19 vaccine shortage, asserting there is no danger to provisions.
The two driving immunization makers both said they stay on course to meet their conveyance responsibilities and denied they were confronting disturbance in provisions.
Their disobedient assertions seemed to negate a letter to immunization focuses from NHS England notice there will be a “huge decrease” in provisions one month from now.
The hits emergency concurred with a danger by the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to obstruct immunization fares to the UK, where 25 million grown-ups have now had their first hit.
Government sources suggested the squeeze on supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine was far worse than predicted. But they stressed that the UK was still on course to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, and to honour the administration of second doses on time. There was speculation on Wednesday evening that the shortfall was due to delays in delivery of 10m doses of the AstraZeneca jab from India. A statement from the company did not address the reports but said: “Our UK domestic supply chain is not experiencing any disruption and there is no impact on our delivery schedule.”
The Royal College of General Practitioners branded the impending shortage “disappointing and frustrating for patients” but echoed reassurances that targets would still be met.
Ruth Rankine, director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, said: “It is reassuring that the secretary of state has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to vaccinate all over 50s by 15 April. But putting an embargo on new first-dose bookings for a whole month due to supply constraints will make this an even taller order.”
Although the health secretary, Matt Hancock, argued that the letter outlining the shortage was a standard technical document, this was met with scorn from NHS officials. “The letter is unusual,” one said. “It’s a futile exercise for Hancock to try to downplay it.”