NHS say 170,000 Moderna jabs to expire in next two weeks

NHS moderna jabs, vaccine take-up
© Bstefanov

According to The Guardian, the NHS is concerned that 170,000 Moderna jabs will expire soon – as vaccine take-up in the 18-25 year old bracket slows down

In mid-July, only 58% of those aged 18-25 had their first dose of a COVID vaccine. For some reason, this age group appears to be reluctant to get jabbed. Now, The Guardian reveals that an immense 170,000 Moderna jabs are at risk of expiring in the next two weeks – due to this low level of take-up.

The NHS managed to re-distribute 40,000 doses, but is now dealing with an urgent situation of potential vaccine loss as demand slows for the COVID vaccine.

Can the Moderna leftovers be given to adolescents?

The TeenCOVE study found that Moderna works well for those aged 12-to-17, but currently the UK is only committing to vaccinate highly immunocompromised adolescents. A vaccine efficacy of 100% was established, 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine.

A mass rollout for UK adolescents is not currently expected. The UK will likely create the booster shot programme faster than adolescents can take the COVID vaccine.

NHS burnout continues

The NHS is struggling with burnout in every sector, as staff take time off and primary care services attempt to catch-up to the backlog of work that accumulated during the worst phases of COVID hospitalisation and death. A recent letter from NHS providers to the UK Government explained that infrastructural weakness was “a result of a decade of the longest and deepest funding squeeze in NHS history.”

COVID doses needed globally

For other countries, immunisation is a far-off possibility. In Africa, barely 1% of people have a double-dose of COVID and several countries are yet to begin. In the Asian continent, countries like Bangladesh with huge populations remain at 3% single-dosed.

Some richer countries point to the existence of the COVAX scheme, a balancing programme created by the WHO to pool vaccines for Global South countries. However, deliveries to Africa have been stunted by an outbreak that led to AstraZeneca doses being used within India itself, where they were being manufactured.

Now, COVAX is projected to deliver only 200 million doses to Africa – just enough to vaccinate 7% of the population. After October, more doses should become available.


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