UK on track for second dose of vaccine despite supply issues

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UK on track for second dose of vaccine despite supply issues


FILE PHOTO: UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain March 17, 2021. REUTERS / Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is confident that the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered on time without mixing the doses, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said on Sunday amid concerns over a slowdown in supplies.

The government warned earlier this month that its vaccination schedule would slow down in April in part due to a delay in a shipment from the Indian Serum Institute.

The European Union has also threatened to block vaccine shipments to countries like the UK where vaccination rates are higher.

“We have kept in mind that we need to get that second refill, so we are confident that we will be able to deliver it,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“We are convinced that this will not require mixing the vaccines.”

Dowden also said the government still expects the Moderna vaccine to arrive in Britain in April.

Asked about a Sunday Times report that the government planned to offer 3.7 million shots to EU member Ireland in part to help lift lockdown measures in Northern Ireland, Dowden said that Britain currently did not have additional doses.

“If we got to the point where we have a vaccine surplus, we would make decisions about where to allocate that surplus,” he told Sky News.

Report by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alex Richardson and Elaine Hardcastle

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