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NHS to halt new vaccinations bookings in April after supply row with EU

The NHS has issued a letter saying that there is a supply issue and that no new vaccination bookings will be taken during April.

In a letter today (copy below), the supply constraint means vaccination centres will take no further appointments made by the National Booking System or Local Booking Systems from 1 to 30 April. 

Several countries have suspended use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine followingan increase in Brain bloodclots.
France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Indonesia fear “serious blood clotting in adults” after recipients suffered blood clots in the days and weeks that followed. 

AstraZeneca says the production problems are at its plants in the Netherlands and Belgium.

One-third of the AstraZeneca vaccine batches are manufactured in the EU who want to restrict exports to the UK and wants more them for themselves because of contractual obligations made by the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company.  

Yet the UK government put a lot of money into the development of the vaccine to which is sold at a cost price around the world.

The government says it remains committed to its target to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, despite warnings of “significant” disruption to the supply of jabs.

Some countries in the EU recently made the decision to suspended using AstraZeneca after some reports of blood clots, but at an earlier date they also held back by refuting it might be unsafe to the elderly.  The later was disproved.  The vaccine has since been approved by the EU medicines regulator on Friday.

The European Commission has published its contract with drug-maker AstraZeneca to buy the company’s Covid vaccine, amid a row over supplies.

The company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said in an interview earlier this week that the contract obliged AstraZeneca to make its “best effort” to meet EU demand, without compelling the company to stick to a specific timetable.

The deal struck in August was for 300 million doses for the EU, to be delivered after EU regulatory approval.

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