More than 5.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been distributed in England amid concerns that supplies to the North will be diverted elsewhere amid a ‘postal code lottery’.
A total of 5,526,071 Covid-19 vaccinations were carried out in England between December 8 and January 22, according to provisional data from the NHS England.
That includes the first and second doses and is a 425,596 increase from Friday’s numbers.
Of this number, 5,085,771 were the first dose of the vaccine, an increase of 424,478 from Friday’s figures, while 440,300 were the second dose, an increase of 1,118.
The NHS was forced to deny claims that vaccines were being ‘diverted’ from the north of England to the south after a report said doctors in Yorkshire and the North East would receive half the dose next week for other regions. they could “catch up.”
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the Health Services Journal (HSJ) reported that GPs in Yorkshire and the Northeast would receive around 100,000 doses next week, up from 200,000.
Their supplies were shrinking because they were ahead of other areas in vaccinating their eligible populations, the report added.
The report also casts doubt on the government’s goal of administering more than two million doses a week, saying the planned reduction in deliveries to Yorkshire and the Northeast suggests that domestic supplies will remain “severely limited” next week.
the Telegraph reported that up to half a million fewer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered to the NHS next week, with Whitehall sources admitting that the goal of vaccinating priority groups by mid-February was becoming increasingly “tight.”
Sources said UK deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine would drop by 15 to 20 percent due to delays in shipments as the pharmaceutical giant ramps up capacity at its plant in Belgium.
The HSJ report led to the government being accused of “mixed” messages about the supply of vaccines for the north of England.
The NHS denial came after an NHS medical director said births were directed based on vaccination rates.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi denied on Thursday that supplies were being moved to other parts of the country.
But on Friday, Nikki Kanani, director of NHS England and NHS Improvement, said BBC Radio 4’s Today that vaccine delivery was being changed to address variations in regional vaccination rates.
An NHS spokesperson later said: ‘It is not true that the vaccine is drifting from north to south.
“As supplies allow, the NHS aims to offer vaccination to all those in the four priority groups, including people aged 70 and over throughout England by mid-February.”
Figures from the NHS England show that Yorkshire and the Northeast lead with 67 percent of those over the age of 80 receiving their first dose of vaccine, compared to 36 percent in Suffolk and Northeast Essex.
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The government has set a goal of offering the vaccine to 15 million people in the highest priority groups by mid-February.
England’s Public Health officials oppose calls by doctors to narrow the gap between the first and second doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
The British Medical Association (BMA) cautioned that delaying the second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab until 12 weeks after the first is not justified by science.
However, PHE Medical Director Dr. Yvonne Doyle said it is essential to protect as many people as possible to prevent the virus from “taking the lead.”