Second doses of the Covid vaccine are ‘a little bit ahead’ of schedule in York – but the rollout of first doses for 45-49 year olds is slower than hoped.
That was the update today from Dr Mike Holmes, chair of Nimbuscare, the primary care group overseeing the vaccination programme in the city.
Speaking on YorkMix Radio this morning, Dr Holmes said the second dose programme was going well and supplies were good.
“So far, we’ve done 31,000 second doses at Askham Bar, which is absolutely on track – exactly where we should have been – and in fact, possibly even a little bit ahead of track,” he said.
“We’re getting two vaccines for second doses, as I’m sure you realise, both AstraZeneca and Pfizer.”
There is only a short window to give the Pfizer jab, so when people are unable to make their appointment they are calling others to come in earlier.
He told the Breakfast Mix presenter Ben Fry: “We’re working through our waiting list and inviting people to come a little bit earlier to have vaccines.
“We’re doing that in a really systematic way so that nobody is disadvantaged – we’re trying to be as fair as we can.
“So just watch out for that you might you either have an appointment already, or you might receive a text just a little bit earlier than you were expecting.”
‘There’s some frustration about’
For the rollout to people aged 45-49, Dr Holmes acknowledged there was some frustration about the availability of appointments.
“It’s well documented that the supply of vaccines for first doses has been a challenge,” he said.
“I do know there’s been some frustration about. I’ve seen it on Twitter – people saying our system’s broken, because they can’t book an appointment. I think the reality is that all the appointments have been booked.”
At Askham Bar they have the Moderna vaccine “so we’re in a slightly better situation than many places”, and they have “more access to Pfizer and AstraZeneca coming over the next few weeks”.
“As we get vaccine, we will make appointments available, and then people can book them in.
“So we’re working with the public, we hope that they understand that. We’ll continue to let people know as appointments become available.
“But the numbers are great. We’ve done 31,000 second doses – our total number of doses that we’ve given is over 170,000 now at Askham Bar.
“So we really are making progress. But I do accept that the rollout into 45 to 49 has been slower than any of us would have wanted at this stage.”