Covid vaccine supply shortage due to delayed delivery of doses from India, Hancock claims


The slowdown to the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme in April has been forced by a shortfall in scheduled deliveries of AstraZeneca product from India, as well as the need to retest the stability of a further 1.7m doses, health secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Mr Hancock told the House of Commons that the shortfall in supplies from India’s Serum Institute – understood to involve 4m doses – meant that availability of vaccines in April will be “tighter” than this month, when the UK has enjoyed “bumper weeks” of mass vaccination.

But sources inside the Institute denied that there had been any hold-up.

A source with knowledge of the matter told The Independent “there was no specific timeframe” for the next order to be sent to the UK, so “there’s no question of it being delayed.”

Five million doses were sent from the Serum Institute to the UK earlier, the source confirmed, adding: “And the remaining will be sent soon”.

“India’s cases are going up. India’s vaccine requirement is also going up,” the source said, insisting that the company is waiting for more clarity on the front from the Indian government.


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