Mayor brands claims of Birmingham vaccine shortages as 'completely false'

Andy Street has spoken out after bosses at Birmingham City Council suggested that the cities stocks of the Pfizer vaccine would run out in 24 hours.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, cllr Ian Ward, went on record claiming that he had learned that the city has not yet been supplied with any stock of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab and their current Pfizer stocks are scheduled to run out on Friday. In an open letter to the Health Secretary, written alongside Hodge Hill MP, Liam Byrne, Mr Ward said:

“We write on behalf of all Birmingham’s Members of Parliament and the leadership of the city council seeking urgent clarity and reassurance regarding the vaccination roll out across our city over the coming weeks and months.

“With the new national lockdown now in force and Covid rates continuing to climb, vaccination offers our only realistic hope of a return to normal life.

“We acknowledge that the vaccination roll-out is in its early days, but we have also learned today that Birmingham has not yet been supplied with any AstraZeneca stock, while current Pfizer stocks are scheduled to run-out on Friday this week with currently no clarity on when further supplies will arrive."

However Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, has criticised Mr Ward's actions, saying that his claims are wholly untrue and will only serve to heighten anxiety in an already tense time. Writing on Facebook, Mr Street said:

"[It is] deeply disappointing to see elected politicians misleading the public over the vaccine situation in Birmingham today, at a time when we should all be pulling together to get through this crisis. 

"Here is the truth. The new Pfizer vaccination stock has been ordered, and is in sufficient supply. It has always been the plan that UHB Trust would order more as they reached the end of current supplies and there is no threat of them running out tomorrow.

"Also, I have personally spoken to the vaccinations minister, Nadhim Zahawi who has reassured me that the new AstraZeneca vaccine will be arriving in the city tomorrow.

"As I hope is now clear, the idea that Birmingham will have no vaccines from tomorrow onwards is completely false. Misinformation that causes undue concern is not what the public need in the middle of a pandemic."


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