Shropshire vaccination centres hit by shortage

Vaccination centres across Shropshire face possible temporary closure as stocks fall low in future weeks.

Opening hours at the county's Covid vaccination centres will be changing from next week due to supply issues, health bosses have confirmed.

It is understood one option is to close some centres for up to two weeks before they then reopen as more stocks arrive.

Appointments are being adapted around the national supply shortage, with a reduction expected from Thursday for up to four weeks.

NHS leaders say the changes will be temporary and there is no need for anyone with first or second vaccine appointments to be concerned as their jabs will go ahead.

No further details have yet been revealed about the specific vaccination centres affected or what the new opening hours will be.

It comes as more than a quarter of a million adults in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have now received a first dose of the vaccine, which includes 91.3 per cent of people aged 50 and over.

In April, clinics will be provided in community settings for people who are hard to reach, including the homeless and others who have trouble reaching the vaccination centres. Staff will be provided with refresher training and health and wellbeing support.

Flexible

David Evans, accountable officer for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Our vaccination delivery programme was designed to be flexible, scaled up and diversified in line with fluctuating international vaccine supplies, so we have planned for this reduction in vaccine supply.

“Although we have to reduce the number of vaccines we're giving in our centres over the coming weeks, this is a temporary situation – it is occurring across the country relating to the national supply of vaccine.

"As soon as we’ve got the vaccine supply back we will step the services back up again.

“We want people to be assured that our vaccination programme is still on track and in line with government targets. We will have offered a first dose vaccine to priority groups one to nine by mid-April. In addition, all our second dose vaccination appointments will go ahead as planned.

“We are now looking at ways of getting to our most vulnerable groups and communities who are harder to reach, ensuring that everyone has equitable access to these vaccines.”

Under 50s will be next to receive their invites for a jab, but it is not yet known when this will be.

The government, however, says all adults in the UK should be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July, a pledge that was reiterated last night as talks continued with the EU over supplies.

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