The number of Covid vaccines administered in the UK has fallen by over a third in the last week as ministers warned of a short-term dip in supply coupled with stockpiling to ensure people get second doses within the recommended 12-week limit.
The latest data showed 192,341 people received a first jab on Monday, the second-lowest daily total since 17 January – taking the number of people in Britain who have had an initial Covid vaccination to 17.9 million.
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On Sunday the number of vaccinations was 141,719, the lowest figure since the UK daily count began on 10 January. Taken together, the total for the past two days is 35% lower than the equivalent figures last week.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said in a radio interview the country could expect “a quieter week this week” for vaccinations because of supply pressure but that the rollout would bounce back next month. “We’re going to have some really bumper weeks in March.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, also said in her daily press briefing that there had been “a temporary dip”, but added there were other factors at play to suggest that UK vaccine stocks had been reduced.
Other reasons for the slowdown, the first minister said, included “the higher than expected uptake so far, and also the need to reserve stock so that second doses can be offered to people who received their first dose in December”…