Derby Arena vaccine site stands idle for 48 hours

Vaccinations were due to start being given again at Derby Arena today after none were administered on Monday or Tuesday this week.

It is understood that after delivering jabs from 8am to 8pm last Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday, the venue ran out of vaccine.

Declining to comment on a lack of vaccine, an NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (DDCCG) spokesman said that there were logistical challenges that had prevented the delivery of vaccinations.

He also ruled out moving to delivering vaccinations on a 24/7 basis despite hints nationally that this could happen at some places across the country.

The spokesman said: “This is the largest vaccination programme the NHS has ever run, and, as with any programme there will be logistical challenges that need to be resolved nationally.

“Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of the (GP) practices’ control, vaccinations did not take place at Derby Arena on January 11 or 12. This did not affect any booked patient appointments, and vaccinations will resume on January 13.

“Staff and volunteers all across Derbyshire have been working really hard over the past weeks to deliver the vaccination to as many eligible people as possible and we are grateful to all our local residents for their support.

“There are no plans at this stage to increase the amount of hours giving jabs at the Arena.”

Derbyshire Live asked DDCCG how many vaccinations are planned to be given at the Arena and elsewhere in Derbyshire in January and February.

We were told it was not possible to provide detailed statistics about localised delivery.

But it is understood that, in Derbyshire, the NHS is aiming during January for in the region of 22,000 vaccinations a week – and in February, 42,000.

In Derby, 43,500 vaccinations are being planned by February 15.

These are other questions that we asked the DDCCG and the answers:

Q:Are there plans to roll out vaccinations in GP surgeries around Derby soon?

A: We have guidance on the community use of Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine and are working through to understand how this can be rolled out in Derbyshire once supply is available. It is much easier to transport the vaccine, which will support delivery from a greater number of venues.

Q: And do we have the Astra Zeneca/Oxford vaccine yet in the city yet?

A: Yes, in very small quantities. We are using what is available to vaccinate care home residents.

Q: Are you short of volunteers for marshalling at the Arena?

A: No.

Q: Are you involving supermarkets or pharmacies in the vaccination process in the Derby/Derbyshire area?

A: We are not planning to use supermarkets as vaccination sites, but pharmacies will become part of the community vaccination programme in time.

Q:How many people have been diverted away from Derby to other vaccination centres when there is a perfectly good centre in Derby?

A: No patients have had appointments at Derby Arena diverted to other sites. This is not how the programme works. Some patients who have appointments at the Arena may have also received an letter through the post inviting them to book an appointment at the Millennium Point Vaccination Centre in Birmingham. This is not a divert due to any issue in Derby, but an additional choice for the patient.

Q: People have contacted Derbyshire Live to say that they have turned up for a second booked vaccination at the Royal Derby Hospital because no-one has contacted them to tell them it is postponed. What is the system for letting people know?

A: Gill Ogden, director of nursing, University Hospitals of Derby & Burton replied: “Our process is to email, text or call all patients whose second vaccination has been deferred from three to 11 weeks of receiving their first vaccine.

“We are doing everything we can to get in contact with our patients, however there have been a few we were unable to get hold of, who still attended and had to be turned away.

“We understand their frustration and are sorry for the inconvenience caused. We assure you our vaccination teams are working incredibly hard to prevent this from happening.”

Derbyshire Live has asked the Government why the Arena did not have any vaccine supply earlier this week.

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