Derbyshire Covid vaccination sites closed as supplies run short

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More than half of Derbyshire’s Covid-19 vaccination sites were closed yesterday (Monday) due to supply shortages overseen by central government.

Of the 15 Covid-19 community vaccination sites in Derbyshire, ten were closed yesterday.

These sites have an army of staff and volunteers available and were not closed off due to poor weather conditions, they just did not have sufficient supplies of vaccines.

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An update page created by Joined Up Care Derbyshire showed Babington Hospital in Belper will not be administering vaccines again until Friday, January 29, while the Winding Wheel Theatre in Chesterfield and Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross will not be administering vaccines until Thursday, January 28.

Vaccine supplies have been running short at Covid vaccination centres across DerbyshireVaccine supplies have been running short at Covid vaccination centres across Derbyshire
Vaccine supplies have been running short at Covid vaccination centres across Derbyshire

Of the 10 sites which were closed yesterday, seven took it upon themselves to use their few remaining vaccines to administer jabs to housebound patients.

Local officials are clear that staff and volunteers are doing all they can to carry out as many Covid-19 jabs as possible, but concede that it is supply of vaccines, controlled by NHS England, which has left them high and dry.

NHS England was approached for comment by the Local Democracy Reporting Service but has not yet responded.

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It was asked why the closed sites did not have sufficient vaccine supplies and if Derbyshire had been actively starved of vaccines due to its progress ahead of other areas, as has happened in the north east and Yorkshire.

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As of January 17, Derbyshire had vaccinated more than 67,000 people, more than a quarter of those in the top four priority groups (240,829).

These are: Residents in care homes and their carers; patients ages 80 or over and frontline health and social care workers; patients aged 75 and over; and patients aged 70 and over alongside any residents aged 16-69 who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

A Joined Up Care Derbyshire spokesperson said: “We are delighted with the highly effective way in which Covid-19 vaccination sites across Derbyshire have responded to the bad weather affecting the county over the past week.

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“The sites, which are run by groups of GP practices, continued their planned vaccination activity, despite flooding caused by Storm Christoph in the Peaks earlier in the week, followed by heavy snow over the weekend.

“This would not have been possible without the teams at all the vaccination sites working incredibly hard, as well as the excellent support of partner agencies, volunteer drivers, and members of the public who have offered their support and encouragement throughout.

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“The teams at all the sites are doing their best to carry out vaccinations this week, either on site or through visits to housebound people and care homes.

“As has been well-reported, vaccine supply continues to be a challenge, but everyone is working hard to ensure appointments are not delayed as a result.”

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It advised all patients who may find it difficult to attend their appointments to contact the relevant vaccination site to make them aware and arrange an alternative slot.

Derby Arena, Buxton Medical Practice and Springs Health Centre in Clowne were the three vaccination sites in the county to be continuing jabs as planned.

The Arena has been formally upgraded to become an official mass vaccination centre, able to administer thousands of vaccines a day.

The other community sites can administer 500 to 600 jabs each per day.