Despite three vaccines having been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Government’s plans to issue the vital coronavirus jab to more than 15 million people by February could be jeopardised as hospital trusts have urged people to stay at home following heavy snow and freezing rain.
This damning pause in the vaccine proceess comes after 388,037 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to January 6 2021, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.
Now, older patients in the north of England and Scotland – who are the most vulnerable to the virus – have been urged to stay inside and to rebook their vaccinations appointments to avoid the bad weather.
The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust advised people to ring 119 to rebook their coronavirus vaccine appointment.
They tweeted: ““We’re advising older people who are booked for their Covid-19 vaccine at the Centre for Life today to rebook for another day when the weather is better.
“No need to risk travelling in the bad weather.”
Police Scotland’s Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock also said with the Government restrictions on travel, people should not leave their homes where possible.
She said: “People should not leave their homes unless for essential purposes and work from home where possible.
“The best way to stay safe is to stay at home.
“In the current wintry weather please consider if your journey is exempt under the regulations and also if it really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.”
Yesterday, the Met Office issued an amber snow warning for parts of Scotland and northern England and forecast up to 11cm falling in the Perth and Kinross area and 5cm in Cumbria.
Nicky Maxey, a Met Office spokeswoman, said: “We’ve seen snow leave the M62 Yorkshire area and journeying now into the Vales or Yorkshire.
“It will push further south as we go through the day, likely to go down to the Midlands but becoming less intense.
“It becomes more patchy and the chances of it sticking reduce.
“When we go into tomorrow there may well be an ice warning issued, we are certainly looking at some potential for frost.
“With the temperatures warming up through the day there’s potential the snow starts melting.
“If it freezes overnight there’s a chance of frost and ice tomorrow morning.”
This is a breaking story… More to follow…