Drop in number of first-dose Covid jabs in Mansfield
The number of people in Mansfield receiving their first Covid-19 jabs fell significantly earlier this month, according to NHS data.
In the week to Sunday, April 11, a total of 491 doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in the town.
This represented 177 fewer than the week before and lower than each of the preceding five weeks.
The figures reflect a trend across the country as a whole, with 355,000 jabs given in that week, a fall of 47 per cent.
NHS England says the reason concerned issues with the supply of the vaccine. A delay in deliveries from India, and the need to retest a batch of 1.7 million doses, disrupted the supply-line.
The organisation had warned that priority would be given to jabs for people in high-risk groups and those receiving their second dose.
Indeed, across England, the number of people getting their second jab increased by 608,000 to 2.1 million in the week to April 11. Second-dose numbers for Mansfield are not available.
Local health leaders were told to focus efforts on the top priority groups in a letter signed by Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, and Emily Lawton, chief commercial officer.
It read: “Those aged 49 or younger should not be offered vaccination unless they are eligible via a higher cohort because they are, for example, clinically vulnerable, an unpaid carer or a frontline health and care worker.”
A statement by the Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which oversees vaccines, said: “In early April, some of our sites operated at slightly different times due to the predicted national decrease in vaccine supply.
"Despite this, we still continued to offer the first dose of the vaccine to those who were eligible, as well as administering second doses to those who were due.”
The CCG stressed that it continued to invite all those who were eligible for a vaccine to come forward, and urged them to book as soon as possible.
The slowdown did not affect the ability to reach vaccine targets, according to the Nuffield Trust, an independent think-tank that aims to improve the quality of healthcare by providing evidence-based research and analysis.
Helen Buckingham, director of strategy at Nuffield, said: “In March, the government warned that the rate of vaccinations would slow down because of supply constraints, and we have seen that happen.
"The programme has exceeded expectations thus far, and continues to do so, with well over half the adult population now having received a first dose, and all vulnerable groups offered an appointment.
"It is good to see that appointments for those aged over 45 started earlier than anticipated, and that self-referrals for care workers restarted this week.
"The slowdown, therefore, has not affected the ability to meet stated targets, and there are no indications that it will.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Our vaccination programme continues to make phenomenal progress, with more than 40 million vaccines administered so far across the UK.
"We have hit our target to offer a vaccine to everyone in phase one of the vaccination programme, and we are on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.”