COVID-19: Any adult in the UK could be offered a vaccine by mid-July – if those numbers are true UK News
For a few hours this week we got a glimpse of the closely guarded secret at the heart of the UK vaccination program.
It came courtesy of the Scottish Government, who published her vaccination schedule on Wednesday.
The plan included detailed figures for that Number of vaccines the UK would deliver that to Scotland every week through the end of May.
The UK government objected, saying the numbers would be difficult for drug companies to publish and the offending page was quickly removed – but not before some clever internet users were able to save a copy.
This is what these numbers showed:
The reason this information is so valuable is because we can get an idea of what is perhaps the most important piece of data in the overall vaccination program: the number of vaccines available to the UK governments.
The UK government has promised to offer COVID-19 Vaccines against 15 million vulnerable people by mid-February.
It is more than a month after starting the program managed to stab 3.2 million people. This is impressive by international standards. In addition, according to today’s figures, the daily rate is close to what the government needs to achieve its goal.
Ministers have said the limiting factor is vaccine delivery, but the government has not released figures on how many vaccines the UK is expecting.
Without these numbers it is very difficult to gauge the UK’s progress. We only have assurances from ministers – which many people, for understandable reasons, are reluctant to rely on.
The Scottish Government figures give us an idea of what is possible. As the graph below shows, with this vaccine supply, Scotland could give an initial dose to anyone in the priority groups by mid-March.
This includes anyone over 50 and anyone over 16 with serious health problems.
Assuming there are no problems with delivery or delivery, Scotland will have enough vaccine to offer two doses to every adult in the country by mid-July.
In practice, not everyone will accept the offer of a vaccine so that these goals can be achieved even faster. The Scottish government itself expects an acceptance of 80%. Our numbers are based on 100% utilization.
We can also use these numbers to estimate when the UK as a whole will receive its vaccines. This involves some assumptions, so all numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt.
However, the results of these numbers explain why behind the scenes ministers are so confident that the vaccine will be introduced.
If Scotland has received a vaccine proportional to its per capita share of the UK population, as sources with experience of UK vaccination programs say, then that is normal then the UK will easily have enough vaccine to meet its February target .
She too will be able to offer a dose to every single adult in the UK by mid-July.
Of course, there are many things that could go wrong from here. Raw materials can become scarce. Vaccines can be lost or wasted.
However, there are reasons to be optimistic.
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The Scottish government says their numbers are based on the worst case scenario provided by the Westminster government.
The Scottish Government has also allowed 5% waste when in reality the actual waste is 1%.
It may be hard to believe, but based on these numbers and the increasingly positive noises coming from Westminster, the UK government’s vaccination program is on track to under-promise and over-deliver.
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