Derbyshire vaccine shortage leads to sharp drop in first covid jabs
Vaccine supply shortages have led to a sharp drop in the the number of Derbyshire residents getting their first Covid-19 jabs.
The county and city’s health services, and the army of staff and volunteers who run the rollout, are nevertheless still among the best in the country.
Joined Up Care Derbyshire, the organisation which oversees all health and social care services in the county and city, ranks fourth in England (out of 42) for the proportion of people aged 16 and above vaccinated against Covid-19 -currently standing at 66.94 per cent.
This means that two in every three adults in Derbyshire have been vaccinated against Covid, with the vast majority of the remaining third not yet eligible for their jabs.
However, the number of people being vaccinated against Covid-19 has dropped significantly, even as more and more people are becoming fully vaccinated.
In the most recent week of NHS England data, up to April 11, the statistics show that 562,835 Derby and Derbyshire residents have been vaccinated against Covid and, of these, 120,107 have had both doses of the vaccine.
Since the previous week of data, 58,883 additional Derbyshire residents received vaccines, maintaining the regular rate of people being given vaccines.
But among those people, 50,268 (85 per cent) were Derbyshire residents receiving their second vaccine dose while 8,615 (15 per cent) were county and city residents receiving their first doses.
Towards the end of March, Derbyshire gave more than 66,000 residents their first doses in one week – seven times the current first dose figure.
In short, the vaccine supply shortage is leading to an increasingly large section of the population being fully vaccinated while a significant proportion (a third) remain entirely unvaccinated – and as a result unprotected and more vulnerable.
Since the start of March, Derbyshire and the UK have experienced vaccine shortages which has seen many vaccination sites close for several days each week and, within Derbyshire, frequently reverting to only vaccinating housebound patients and care homes with the little supplies they have.
Towards the end of March, NHS England warned that significant vaccine shortages would continue throughout April.
Second dose appointments and those already booked for first doses will be honoured. NHS England had also warned against booking any additional first dose appointments and filing any vacant appointment slots.
The nation is now five months into the vaccination rollout and community sites began administering jabs four months ago.
Of the Derbyshire jabs which have been given out so far, 72 per cent have been to residents aged 50 and above, with that section of Derbyshire’s population now 95.9 per cent vaccinated against the virus.
Age groups below 50 are now becoming eligible for vaccines.
People aged 45 and above are being contacted, with jabs thought to open up for people aged 35 and above next month.
Local health services are already contacting people aged 35 and above in some areas, including parts of Derbyshire – this is not part of the national booking service.
It has been estimated by Public Health England that over 10,000 deaths have been averted by the first three months of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout with jabs aimed at those deemed most at risk – the elderly, those with specific health conditions and frontline health and social care workers.