What's happening with district's vaccine supplies? St Albans MP is seeking answers
- Credit: Daisy Cooper
St Albans' top-performing vaccine centre is struggling with a lack of supplies.
The facility at Batchwood Hall has the capacity to vaccinate 14,000 people a week, but has apparently only been receiving enough supplies for 1,000 people.
St Albans MP Daisy Cooper has written to the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi about the situation.
She is asking for an urgent meeting about why other areas have the vaccines to vaccinate lower groups when St Albans doesn’t have enough supplies for the at-risk cohort 6 (those over 65 plus people between 16 and 65 with an underlying health condition).
She told the Herts Ad: "Some residents are understandably confused and anxious about why some people in cohort 7 are being vaccinated before cohort 6 and want to know why this is being allowed to happen. That's why I've asked the vaccines minister for an urgent meeting and am pursuing that request vigorously.
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"All the evidence suggests that GP-led centres are doing well because the GPs are known and trusted by their patients, and are able to give people their jabs close to home.
"Emerging reports that some mass vaccination centres have vaccine supply but are lying empty are incredibly worrying given that GP-led centres have huge demand and just need the vaccine supply!
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"The GPs, medical staff and volunteers at Batchwood Hall are doing an amazing job. What we all need now is greater transparency from government on vaccine supply and distribution so local residents can understand what is happening and so our main vaccination centre at Batchwood can plan its next phase of vaccinations."
Last month health secretary Matt Hancock congratulated Club Batchwood for "having now vaccinated all over 80s in the system" since it started the programme in early December.
Mr Hancock also praised the speed of the vaccine roll-out and the “fantastic efforts” of the Batchwood centre.
He added: “This is down to the tireless efforts of all those involved, especially those on the ground in our communities, from nurses, to GPs, to pharmacies, to volunteers, and so many more.
“It’s incredible to see this community spirit, as people pull together to lead us collectively out of the pandemic.”
A spokesperson for St Albans Local Vaccination Service at Batchwood Hall said: "We are very grateful to have the support of Daisy Cooper MP who, like us is keen to ensure everyone has access to vaccinations, as soon as possible.
"We have capacity to vaccinate up to 14,000 patients per week from Batchwood Hall, so the reduced supply is frustrating as we want to get on and vaccinate the local community as quickly and efficiently as possible."