Vaccine volunteers ‘left standing’ around as London falls to bottom of the national rollout league

Ross Lydall
·2-min read
<p>Mass vaccination centres across the capital are reported to be standing idle</p> (PA)

Mass vaccination centres across the capital are reported to be standing idle

(PA)

London has fallen back to the bottom of the national vaccine roll-out effort and faces a challenge to hit the target of vaccinating its 1.5 million most vulnerable residents by Monday, the Standard can reveal.

Mass vaccination centres across the capital are reported to be standing idle — prompting calls for teachers, police and transport workers to be offered unused slots.

GP surgery hubs are having to pause the roll-out of jabs due to a lack of supplies, despite having staff on standby.

But NHS London says the vaccine programme “remains on track” to hit the target as the capital’s chief nurse urged everyone over 70 to have a “life-saving jab”.

Only 20,955 first doses were administered across the capital on Sunday — less than half the 45,621 given on the previous Sunday, according to NHS England data.

A further 25,708 doses were given on Monday and 31,181 on Tuesday but for the last three days the capital has fallen back behind the South-West into last place in the national league table.

By last night, a total of 1,255,046 Londoners had received a first jab. According to NHS London, there are about 1.5 million Londoners in the top four priority groups due to be offered a jab by February 15 — meaning the capital has six days to deliver about 250,000 more vaccines.

Today it emerged that the Francis Crick Institute in King’s Cross, one of the capital’s mass vaccination centres, is only giving about 300 jabs a day – despite capacity for 1,000.

Crick boss Sir Paul Nurse, writing in The Times, said: “In our centre we are injecting at most only 300 patients a day. Our volunteers have been left standing around with little to do. The vaccines remain unused in the fridge. For the second week in a row we will be forced to close our doors this weekend because there are no patients. We are not alone in this.”

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