A ‘significant reduction’ in coronavirus vaccine supplies is expected in the UK from the end of the month, according to NHS England.
According to a letter sent to local vaccination centres, the disruption could last around four weeks. In the UK, AstraZeneca has said there is no disruption to supplies and deliveries, though it is believed that there may be some problems in the global supply chain.
On Thursday, it was reported that there had been a delay in a shipment to the UK from India of five million Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccines and it is believed that this may be partly responsible for the expected reduction in supplies.
The Government has said the UK remains on course to offer a first vaccine dose to everyone in the top-nine priority groups, including all over 50s, by the middle of next month. Ministers have also said that the roadmap out of lockdown is unlikely to be affected.
So far, over 25.2 million people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, while over 1.7 million have also received their second dose.
The UK is currently using the Pfizer and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, though it is thought that vaccines from Moderna, which have already been approved by the MHRA, could start arriving in the UK next month.