Lincolnshire coronavirus: Still Pfizer shortages for under 40s

Lincolnshire is still waiting for more COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines as under 40s have been forced to travel outside the county to get their jab.
COVID vaccinesCOVID vaccines
COVID vaccines

Last week, Lincolnshire’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) apologised after a Lincoln resident under the age of 40 was turned away at the Showground vaccination site due to the unavailability of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Bosses have now confirmed the site is focusing on Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ) second doses and would need to expand to accommodate Pfizer vaccines for under 40s.

A week on and another Lincolnshire resident, Oliver Peatman, 31, was turned away from the Showground due to his age and supply issues, and had to travel to a centre in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

He said: “Why has it all gone so wrong for my age group?! When it was seeming to be almost faultless with all older age groups? Absolute shambles.

“The NHS booking system needs work because I’m obviously not the only one this has happened to!”

The government decided that most people below the age of 40 will get an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca due to a link with rare blood clots.

Mr Peatman said he was also turned away from Ancora Medical Practice on Ashby Road in Scunthorpe on Wednesday for the same reason and was told the Baths Hall vaccination centre “might” have Pfizer. A frustrated Mr Peatman then gave up instead.

A spokesperson from North Lincolnshire CCG said: “We have an abundance of Pfizer in Scunthorpe and we’re putting messages out constantly to try and fill the availability.”

They suggested an issue with NHS England’s booking portal as Ancora might not be administrating Pfizer vaccines now. Details are being confirmed.

Lincolnshire CCG have said the National Booking System/119 has booked people in at vaccination sites that are inappropriate and referred under 40s to sites that only have the AZ vaccine.

People trying to book again have been redirected back to the same sites.

A spokesperson for NHS Lincolnshire CCG said: “We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. Those under 40 who have already had a first dose AZ should still have a second dose of AZ, and in this case the Showground is able to accommodate that booking.”

All other sites include the Mass Vaccination Centre at PRSA, Boston, and the Local Vaccination Centre at the Meres, Grantham.

They added: “To be able to offer Pfizer as well (to people under 40), we will have to expand our capacity at the Showground MVC, and we continue to work on this to ensure we are ready.

“At this point the situation should improve because people will be booked in for the correct vaccination for their age – i.e. under 40s will be offered Pfizer.”

In the last week 9,544 people (a fifth) of those who received their first COVID vaccine dose were under 40, while 4,233 (9%) of recipients under 40 had their second dose in Lincolnshire, showing vaccines are still being administered in the county.