Why you shouldn’t panic about the UK’s slowing vaccine rate
Dip caused by short-term supply issues to be offset by ‘bumper’ deliveries of Covid jabs
A sudden drop in the number of daily Covid vaccines being administered across the UK is just a temporary blip that will be followed by a swift rebound, government officials have promised.
A total of 141,719 doses were administered in England on Sunday, followed by 116,333 on Monday - “the worst number posted by England since the start of daily reporting six weeks ago”, tweets the i news site’s deputy political editor Hugo Gye.
But concerned citizens have no reason to worry, adds Times Radio’s chief political commentator Tom Newton Dunn. Although vaccine rates are down by around 50% week-on-week, government sources told him that there were “bumper delivery weeks coming shortly”.
That message has been underlined by Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who tweeted a plea for the public to “keep the faith”.
“All over 50s” will be offered the vaccines by mid-April and “all adults” will be offered the vaccines by the end of July, Zahawi wrote, adding: “Supply is finite, but about to get bigger.”
Senior government sources echoed the “don’t panic” message, telling Politico’s London Playbook that the NHS was simply holding back doses amid an expected supply downturn in order to ensure there are enough jabs for people who need their booster within the next few weeks.
The insiders said big shipments of vaccines are due to arrive next month, “at which point first doses will ramp up massively”, Playbook reports.
The success of the jabs campaign is central to Boris Johnson’s roadmap for the end of England’s lockdown, with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg warning that “some massive upset with the vaccine rollout could knock things off course”.
Almost 18 million people in the UK have received a first Covid jab so far. According to Oxford University tracking, a total of 27.34 doses - including booster shots - per 100 people had been administered as of the start of this week.