Is there a Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine shortage? Probe the recent update
Health experts are predicting that the UK, regrettably, is on the precipice of experiencing a “third wave” of the coronavirus, where cases skyrocket and hospitals become overwhelmed. Many officials are blaming the momentary pause on the distribution of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, currently on hold in many European countries over growing concerns of a correlation between the vaccine and blood clots.
However, other critics close to the situation are calling out a possible vaccine shortage as to why a third wave almost seems inevitable. That being said, both Pfizer & AstraZeneca have rejected these claims that the UK is facing a vaccine shortage, providing an update to those who are concerned with the current vaccine delivery process.
So what exactly is going on right now in the UK? Let’s see if we can’t uncover an update.
Coronavirus vaccine shortage?
A recent letter from NHS England to vaccination centers revealed a possible warning that there will be a shortage in vaccination supplies in the UK as early as next month. However, immediately responding to these claims were vaccine manufacturers Pfizer & AstraZeneca, who are ensuring that everything, thus far, is still moving forward accordingly.
The letter by NHS England read the following: “There will be a significant reduction in weekly supply available from manufacturers beginning in the week commencing 29 March, meaning volumes for first doses will be significantly constrained.”
It continued: “Inviting patients outside of cohorts 1- 9 is only permissible in exceptional circumstances. Those aged 49 years or younger should not be offered vaccination unless they are eligible via a higher cohort.”
“We have an agreement with the government to supply 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to the UK by the end of the year,” read a statement from Pfizer in order to shoot down concerns. “While the details of this agreement are confidential, we can confirm that Q1 deliveries remain on track and continue to progress in line with the monthly schedule, agreed in advance with the Vaccines Taskforce.”
AstraZeneca provided a statement of their own: “Our UK domestic supply chain is not experiencing any disruption and there is no impact on our delivery schedule.”
The Department of Health also chimed in to the current concerns, providing a vaccine update of their own on Sky News: “As has been the case since the program began, the number of vaccinations carried out over time will vary due to supply, but we remain on track to offer a first vaccine to over 50s by 15 April and all adults by 31 July.”
Why is the AstraZeneca vaccine on pause?
Only a few days ago, many countries began suspending the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca after multiple reports came in involving some of its recipients getting blood clots, starting with Denmark. One patient, specifically, developed multiple blood clots and sadly passed away ten days after getting the initial dose.
Danish health authorities quickly stepped in, suspending all use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for up to two weeks while these cases were investigated. They even gave the following statement: “At present, it cannot be concluded whether there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.”
Following suit was the Congo, Thailand, Norway, Iceland, and Bulgaria, all suspending the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca as a precautionary measure. Last Saturday, Norwegian health authorities had reported that four different people, all under the age of fifty, had an unusually low number of blood platelets after getting the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
What are your thoughts regarding the possible shortage of coronavirus vaccines in the UK? Do you believe the update by both Pfizer & AstraZeneca? Do you plan on getting the vaccine when it becomes available to you? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.