Prime Minister warns of ‘ups and downs’ as vaccine rollout continues

Sir Patrick Vallance said the process ‘isn’t making widgets, these are complex, quality controlled, biological processes’.

A woman receives a coronavirus vaccine
A woman receives a coronavirus vaccine

The UK’s rollout of coronavirus vaccines will face “ups and downs” during its early phases, the Prime Minister has warned.

Boris Johnson cautioned that there would be “bumps” as production of the various vaccines got under way, highlighting that batches are “only just being approved”.

During a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, the Prime Minister was asked by a journalist why first-dose vaccination levels have “dropped a bit this week”.

According to official figures some 220,249 first doses were given in the UK on Sunday, 279,757 on Monday and 311,060 on Tuesday.

This followed totals of 491,970 first doses received on Saturday, 478,248 on Friday and 409,855 on Thursday.

Mr Johnson said: “Don’t forget that these are vaccines that have only just been invented and the batches are only just being approved.”

He added: “I think one of the things that we said at the beginning is that there would be bumps, there would ups and downs, particularly in these early phases as production gets under way.”

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: “Ten years ago we wouldn’t have been able to do this. That is the extraordinary thing that’s happened.

“The new vaccine technologies have come along that’s allowed this to happen. Ten years ago if this had happened we would not be in this position. It’s remarkable.”

Commenting on the “lumpiness of supply”, he added: “This isn’t making widgets, these are complex, quality controlled, biological processes.

“It’s not surprising that the supply goes up and down a bit. There will be changes week on week and that’s to be expected.”

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