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Pfizer vaccine shortage concerns highlighted in letter between health secretaries

by Emma Wilkinson
11 June 2021

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The Scottish health secretary has raised concerns about increasing pressures on the supply of Pfizer vaccine as the UK accelerates efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible.

In a letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, Hamza Yousaf asked to discuss what could be done to further increase supply in the coming weeks.

‘The latest forecast on supply would indicate that Pfizer will be particularly tight over the next few weeks and as a consequence the programme won’t be able to accelerate as much as I would wish,’ he said in the letter which was published in full in the Daily Record.

He wrote that he was aware that those in the vaccines taskforce were working incredibly hard to maximise volumes of all supply including Pfizer and he commended their efforts in securing supply.

‘Notwithstanding this, I would be grateful to discuss what more could be done to further increase the available supply in the coming weeks to support efforts to deliver the programme at pace.’

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Mr Yousaf said he welcomed the outstanding progress that had been made across all nations of the UK and in reaching the ‘important milestone’ of 75% of adults vaccinated and 50% having had two doses.

‘In Scotland, similar to our four nations counterparts, we are working hard towards the end of July target for offering first does to all those aged 18 and over.

‘This has become even more important as we implement the adjustments to dose schedule set out by JCVI and deploying additional accessible routes to reach communities given the increase in prevalence of the Delta variant.

‘I am very clear that this is a race and we must therefore do absolutely everything in our power to accelerate our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible.’

The over 25s are now eligible for vaccination in England and a decision on whether to offer the Pfizer jab to teenagers is expected within weeks.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.

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