Vaccination programme sets record with 744 jabbed in one day – but supplies expected to slow next month

The vaccination programme surpassed new records this week – but fresh concerns about national supplies could see its pace reduced once more.

NHS Shetland confirmed 744 people were vaccinated on Monday, marking the highest daily total since the programme began in December.

Chief executive Michael Dickson said the progress had been “phenomenal” and praised all staff involved from the NHS and partner organisations for their “amazing” work.

Since then, however, the NHS, nationally,  has warned of a “significant reduction in the weekly supply” of vaccines.

The issues are reported to relate to the AstraZeneca vaccine, though its manufacturer has denied any issues with the UK supply chain.

Susan Laidlaw, consultant in public health for NHS Shetland, said issues with national supplies may affect the volumes received locally.

“We will adjust our delivery to match the supply and in light of any government guidance or instructions regarding prioritisation,” she added.

Dr Laidlaw said AstraZeneca vaccines had so far been arriving weekly, although the volumes varied from one week to the next and did not always reflect the quantities expected.

“We flex our plans to deal with this fluctuation,” she added.

“We have had supply of Pfizer for second doses and will be getting more.

“We could always use more vaccine, if it is available, as we have clinic capacity.”

Dr Laidlaw said NHS Shetland planned to complete vaccinating all priority groups within the next 10 days, with most of the focus now on the 50-59 age group.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today (Thursday)  that Scotland would receive 500,000 fewer doses than had been over the next month.

As a result, Ms Sturgeon said there may be periods in April when the programme had to prioritise second doses. However, she added that the government still expected all priority groups to be vaccinated by mid-April and all adults by the end of July.

Shetland residents in priority groups one to nine who have not been contacted for an appointment by next week are asked to call 01595 743319 once.


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