News hurts chances of achieving the target of preserving the most at risk by Feb. 15, more than 13 million.
Health officials have cautioned that “delivery delays” mean that by the second half of this month, the Covid vaccine program will not meet its target rate, damaging the possibility of achieving the goal of protecting more than 13 million vulnerable people by Feb. 15.
According to AstraZeneca, which oversees the development of the new vaccine, it has over 3 million doses.
However, government sources said talks were underway with the Regulatory Authority for Medicines and Healthcare Products (MHRA) on the need to speed up batch safety checks that have taken up to 20 days.
At Tuesday’s Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson highlighted the checks as a ‘rate-limiting factor.’
That means that the immunization rate will not be met by at least 2 million weekly vaccinations until the week after next, officials said. “without compromising quality and safety.”without compromising quality and safety.
“We are working closely with the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, to ensure batches of the vaccine are released as quickly as possible.” a spokeswoman said.
It claimed that biological medicines such as vaccines are “very complex” and the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control must carry out independent quality and safety testing on the batches (NIBSC).
1,3 million individuals across the U.K. by Tuesday. Johnson said that he had been vaccinated, like about a fifth of those over 80.
Most of them had the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, which was approved early in December.
“The Minister of Vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi, was pressured by MPs on Monday for a timetable for deliveries of vaccines, but allegedly refused, saying that production needed to “stabilize.
The Guardian has heard that by mid-January, AstraZeneca is only on target to raise its manufacturing ability to 2 million weekly doses, meaning that the more difficult-to-handle vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech is likely to be a vital part of the vaccination campaign’s first few weeks.
Any slow start to the deployment of the easier-to-stock vaccine from Oxford/AstraZeneca is likely to raise pressure on primary care doctors charged with supplying it. They warned Tuesday that if they are to devote time to the vaccine campaign, regular checkups for people with stable health conditions and appointments will have to be cancelled. The first 530,000 doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca would be marketed
“GPs need to be given the flexibility to focus on the vaccination campaign as a priority, and be told honestly which services need to be paused to allow this to happen,” said Dr. Richard Vautrey, chairman of the GP committee of the British Medical Association.
“The challenge will be to do it all at once,” said Dr. Michael Mulholland, vice president of the Royal College of General Practitioners. “We need a bigger workforce.” Talks are underway to minimize the paperwork necessary to bring back retired nurses and doctors.
There will be 775 GP-led immunization sites across England by the end of this week, but there are demands for the coverage of all 8,000 GP practices in the region.
Mulholland said, “Primary care will be able to deliver at least 1 million doses, and the other million will be taken by hospitals and the other sites.” The sites are set up, so we need the vaccine now. We have not yet learned that a significant amount of AstraZeneca would be supplied.
As part of a pledge to produce 100 million doses by the end of the year, AstraZeneca has told the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) it will deliver at least 20 million doses by the end of March, but the government has not provided information about when the shipments will be released. 40 million doses are planned to be shipped by Pfizer/BioNTech.
In laboratories in Oxford and at Keele University in Staffordshire, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is made.
The employees of Oxford Biomedica work around the clock, and a spokesman said that batch production is “on time.”
“Growing cells is basically the process,” said a spokesperson. “We’re effectively adding a bit of the virus that can make all the cells we’ve grown into a vaccine.”