Shetland’s Covid-19 vaccine supply halved amid national shortages

Leaders of Shetland’s vaccination programme have urged folk to be patient as the rapid rollout is set to slow after supplies were halved.

Brian Chittick, who is heading up the programme for NHS Shetland, said that while more than 8,000 people had now received their first dose, numbers were expected to fall over the coming days.

Supply issues are set to be compounded as health and social care staff and care home residents start to receive their second jabs.

Mr Chittick said the health board was seeking to manage expectations amid a “temporary blip” in the nationwide supply chain.

“The message is for folk to be patient,” he said

“We will get there, we will vaccinate everyone in Shetland but it might just take a bit of time.”

Recent weeks have seen rapid growth in the programme with the launch of two mass  vaccination centres, including the latest at the Gilbertson Park games hall last weekend.

Mr Chittick said the launch had gone “really well” with 352 people vaccinated in just over five hours on Wednesday, demonstrating its potential to reach large swathes of the population when supply allows.

However, Mr Chittick said that while the system was capable of vaccinating hundreds every day it was unlikely to achieve that capacity amid reduced supplies.

He said the nationwide shortage has seen Shetland receive “about half of what we were expecting and what we’ve planned for”.


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