Dr Peter Saul

GPs only told about “planned” fall in vaccine supplies this week

The Joint Chair of the Royal College of General Practioners in Wales (RCGP) has revealed he only found out about the what the Welsh Government has called a “planned” reduction in vaccine availability in recent days.

At a press conference this lunchtime First Minister Mark Drakeford described the reduction in Wales’ vaccine supply over the next few weeks as “expected”, saying it is part of a UK-wide trend.

However, Dr Peter Saul told CJS News that he was “only made aware this week” that a drop in Wales’ vaccine supply was coming.

Although the confirmed information was new to him, Dr Saul said that GPs “probably knew it was coming because the vaccine manufacturers said that there was going to be a dip in supply.”

But the late notice for GPs – who are among those administering the vaccine – calls into question just how planned the supply issues are.

He also predicted that life won’t get back to normal this year because whilst the UK will be vaccinated by summertime, the rest of the world likely won’t be vaccinated until the end of next year.

“Until we’re all vaccinated, nobody is safe,” he said.

Dr Saul made the comments during a Facebook Live Q&A session alongside Dr Bnar Talabani, answering viewers’ questions about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Vaccine myths and hesitancy

During the Q&A, hospital doctor Bnar Talabani said she was hearing patients’ concerns about the vaccines.

Worries – which she seeks to redress – included whether the vaccine was developed too quickly.

However, Dr Talabani said social media was helping to spread “far-fetched” conspiracy theories, including bizarre unfounded claims about billionaire Bill Gates’ involvement in its development and microchips in the vaccines being used to monitor the public.

Both experts stressed the vaccines were safe – and effective against all strains of the virus.