Covid: Cornwall vaccine centres to close ahead of supply shortage

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A pharmacist holding the vaccineImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Vaccine centres in Stithians and Wadebridge will be "temporarily paused" during the vaccine shortage

Two vaccination centres in Cornwall will temporarily close next month following delays importing the coronavirus vaccine into the UK.

NHS Kernow confirmed there will be a pause to vaccine appointments at Stithians and Wadebridge.

The two centres will be affected during the first half of April, although exact dates have not officially been given.

The government said it is sending the available doses to areas which have "further to go" in the vaccine rollout.

In a letter to local health organisations last week, the NHS warned of a "significant reduction in the weekly supply" of coronavirus vaccines in England in April.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there will be no permanent closures of vaccine centres.

Analysis by Ben Woolvin, BBC South West home affairs correspondent

Image caption,
The vaccination centre at Westpoint in Exeter is expected to be shut between 1 and 11 April

There is no need for anyone with an appointment already booked at one of the large vaccination centres to be concerned.

The national booking service is not taking any appointments for first doses for the whole of April. This will ensure there is enough supply of the vaccine for all of those existing second-dose appointments due in April.

In the case of Westpoint we're expecting the centre to be temporarily closed between 1 and 11 April.

In the South West, the large vaccination centres started first doses in late January, meaning second doses aren't due until the middle of April.

At Westpoint, we understand a very small number of people were due to have a first appointment there in those two weeks of April.

To avoid having to put staff in place for a handful of patients, the NHS has contacted those people asking them to rearrange.

"Vaccines are being distributed fairly across the UK to make sure the most vulnerable people in society are immunised first," the statement said.

"Some parts of the country have made very significant progress and their vaccination totals are above the average."

On Tuesday, the NHS said it was contacting "a small number of people" who are booked to have their vaccinations at the Westpoint vaccination centre in early-April to "bring their appointments forward to March if possible".

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