A NATIONAL issue with Covid vaccine supplies has affected a Basingstoke vaccination centre, forcing it to close on certain days.

The Hampshire Court Hotel has been operating as a Covid vaccination centre since December 16.

However, the Gazette understands that it has been unable to offer appointments on various days this last week because of a shortage in supply of vaccines.

The hotel has been used alongside Basingstoke Fire Station to administer Covid vaccines. It is not known if the fire station has also had to close on certain days because of supply issues.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) has been asked for further information.

Last week, England’s deputy chief medical officer professor Jonathan Van-Tam explained to Sky News that there are “supply fluctuations” with the vaccine, saying: “These are new vaccines and by and large the manufacturers have never made them or anything like them before.”

He compared the manufacturing of vaccines to beer-making, explaining: “You do get batch size variations and that’s natural. It’s going to take a few months for manufacturers to get a confident and steady routine.”

He was confident that numbers would pick up again, after both AstraZeneca and Pfizer have had problems scaling up production to meet delivery targets.

The latest figures show that more than 61,000 people in north Hampshire have now received a vaccine for Covid-19 up to February 25.

This was an increase of 9,000 from the previous week.

Dr Matt Nisbet, north Hampshire GP and clinical lead for business and partnerships in Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of CCGs, said that despite the current supply shortages, the vaccination programme in Hampshire is on track, with more than half a million vaccinations already delivered.

He added: “We continue to offer vaccination to all those who are eligible.

“The number of appointments available is based on vaccine supply and more appointments will be made available as supply increases again."

More than 45,000 doses have already been administered at the Hampshire Court Hotel, and more than 60,000 in total across the north Hampshire area more widely, with all government milestones met.

Those who are eligible to have a Covid vaccine and who have received an invitation are advised to book an appointment.