3,000 vaccination appointments cancelled in Derby due to 'supply issues'

The Derby Arena team says it will reschedule all appointments and advise patients who are booked in. Credit: PA

More than 3,000 Covid-19 vaccination appointments at Derby Arena due to take place on Tuesday (4 May) have been cancelled because of supply issues.

There have been reports of jab shortages as a national issue for a number of weeks now, which has meant local teams have been making the most of every drop in their quota.

The Pfizer vaccine in particular cannot be stored for long, so vaccination hubs have not been keeping surplus to cover supply shortages when they arise.

Now, supplies which had been expected to arrive at Derby Arena on Tuesday have been delayed.

A statement from the Arena said those 3,000 appointments have had to be cancelled and rebooked for Saturday, May 8.

All patients who had been scheduled for Tuesday will be contacted with a new appointment.

Rearranging appointments due to short supply is a "last resort" if moving doses between sites is not a viable option, says a spokesperson for Joined Up Care Derbyshire.

The organisation overseas health across the county and city.

The statement continues:

"This is a rare occurrence and represents only a fraction of the tens of thousands of doses delivered by GP practices, pharmacies and other partner organisations across 27 sites in Derbyshire every week in this unprecedented vaccination programme.

"There is enough vaccine in the system to enable everyone who is due a second dose to receive theirs in a timely way.

"To ensure no supplies are wasted, people are urged to please keep their vaccine appointments unless advised otherwise by their GP practice or the NHS.

"Vaccination teams across Joined Up Care Derbyshire, including those at Derby Arena, have become experienced at working with patients to minimise the impact of such supply challenges."

Boris Johnson visited the Derby Arena Vaccination Centre in February this year. Credit: PA

Despite these challenges, local health chiefs say they still have confidence in the target to offer first doses to all adults by the first week of August.

However they stress this depends on vaccine supply increasing.

The Department of Health and Social Care say it had "always been clear" that supply of vaccines would fluctuate and it remains in contact with manufacturers to manage supply issues.

"There are no shortages of first doses in the UK and the vaccination programme remains on track, with all adults due to be offered their first dose by the end of July."

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