NHS urged to redistribute semi-expired vaccines as intake slows in young people | Vaccines and immunization
the NHS He is facing pressure to redistribute tens of thousands of vaccine doses that are nearing completion as demand from younger adults declines.
An internal email seen by the Guardian warns that 170,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine are at risk of expiring within the next two weeks, as doctors across England worry that the unpredictability of vaccine intake among young people means more doses will be in vain.
The government intends to unveil a raft of new initiatives to increase vaccine uptake among young people, including discounts on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Bolt, as well as a delivery service. Deliveroo.
It is understood that the NHS was able to redistribute 40,000 of Moderna’s spare parts. However, concerns have been raised about the number of missed punches as uptake slows among youngsters eligible for Moderna and Pfizer punches.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization recommends an interval of eight to 12 weeks between doses, initially as a way to provide initial doses to more people due to limited supply, but studies have since shown that a larger gap can provide longer protection.
Dr. Alison George, an NHS physician in the Northeast, said colleagues have been forced to routinely phase out Pfizer’s doses, rather than give second doses early on to people who requested them. “We have very high infection rates here and the local hospital is already under a lot of pressure with some elective surgery being cancelled,” the GP said.
“The wasting at this point from unlocking the lock is completely unjustified and turning away the youth too, in my opinion, is completely unforgivable.”
Dr Rosemary Leonard, an NHS GP, tweeted last week that doctors are keen to be able to give punches early to avoid wastage. “Please, can young people be allowed to get their vaccinations eight weeks in advance. Several colleagues have told me about hundreds of doses that have been discarded, and yet the ‘first applicants’ in clinics have been rejected.”
“I heard about a clinic that had to throw out 1,000 doses of Pfizer because it had expired, but it kept people off a second dose.”
Leonard said that because GPs often no longer run clinics, pop-up centers often have no discretion. “Unlike GP-led clinics, no one dares to make rational decisions,” she wrote on Twitter.
Predicting vaccine uptake is getting more difficult, said Bessy Bird, a senior fellow at the King’s Trust.
“Uptake is declining as the younger cohort gets older, and it will become more difficult to match vaccine supply to demand as demand becomes less predictable. This is becoming more difficult because vaccines have a limited shelf life.”
“Ensuring that everyone who wants and needs a vaccine can access both doses at the right time and in the right place is a complex task at scale and is a testament to all those involved in the vaccine program that so many people have already received both doses.
“In the early stages of rollout, you can be confident that wherever vaccines are delivered there will be sufficient demand for them. Now that the majority of adults have been vaccinated, and with uptake declining as cohorts become younger, demand for the vaccine is more challenging, making It’s hard to know exactly where the doses are needed.”
An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS continues to encourage vaccine uptake among young people by playing at convenient locations and popular destinations, including Thorpe Park and Latitude Festival as well as community centers in places of worship and shopping centres.
“There is plenty of vaccine supply and everyone 18 years of age or older is now eligible for the life-saving Covid vaccine, which is why the NHS is urging people to come forward as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now mostly distributed to people under age 40, who cannot receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. These vaccines have a shorter shelf life of up to one month in the refrigerator, compared to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which can last up to six months.
Although doses of Pfizer and Moderna can be given in just a three-week period, studies have shown that an eight to 12-week interval can provide greater long-term immunity against Covid-19.
The UK will distribute 9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to poor countries from this week, despite concerns Raised that those potions are about to expireand pressure on health care systems in developing countries to dispense doses in a timely manner.