Concerns over 'vaccines left in the fridge' in Sunderland after some wanted to 'avoid side effects over Christmas' - with covid surge following soon after
Health chiefs in Sunderland have warned there are “a lot of vaccines left in the fridge” but it could be a “quiet January” for uptake.
Medical bosses noted in the run up to Christmas many residents reported wanting to wait until after the festive period to be vaccinated, to avoid potential side effects.
However this was before the latest Covid-19 spike, which has seen Sunderland report “far and away” its highest cases to date, and residents over 16 must wait 28 days to receive the vaccine after having Covid.
Dr Carol Aitken from the GP Alliance, one of the clinical leads for the area’s vaccination programme, told the city council Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee on January 5 they may have “missed a little bit of an opportunity.”.
She said: “A lot of the feedback we were given is that people wanted to get Christmas out of the way, they didn’t want to risk having side effects, so were going to come in after Christmas.
“The concern is we had to pre-order because of Christmas and everything so we’ve still got quite a lot of vaccines left in the fridge.
“It’s a shame, I suspect we did miss a little bit of an opportunity there, there’s probably a lot of people now who have Covid, or are recovering from Covid.”
She added there will now be delays in getting these people vaccinated, meaning there is an expectation potentially “things may be quiet” on this front for the rest of January.
Dr Aitken also urged anyone who is fit and well, and has not had Covid-19 in the last 28 days, to come forward to receive the vaccine, and noted they have seen increases in numbers coming forward for vaccination in the past month.
Councillors heard, as of January 4, more than 211,000 people in Sunderland have had their first dose, with an extra almost 2,000 coming forward in the three weeks previous.
There have been around 196,000 second doses administered, with almost 5,000 of these coming in the last three weeks.
There were also 42,000 booster doses given out during this period, taking the total number to more than 140,000.
It means 84% of the eligible population have had their first vaccine, 78% have had their second dose and almost 63% have received their booster.