Over-65s vaccinations begin in England as centre reports lack of patients

A view of the Francis Crick Institute in central London.

The Francis Crick Institute - Credit: Nick Ansell/PA

A Covid-19 vaccination centre is closed for a second weekend running because it does not have enough patients to be given the jab.

The Francis Crick Institute at King's Cross has been providing up to 300 jabs a day when it has capacity for 1,000, according to chief executive Paul Nurse.

NHS England said on Friday (February 12) it is set to reach its target of offering the vaccine to people aged 70 and over, care home residents and staff, health and care workers and clinically extremely vulnerable patients by Monday. It said people aged over 65 can now have a vaccine in England if GPs have supplies.

Writing in the Times on Thursday, Mr Nurse said the vaccine programme "could be going faster".

Are appointments being limited to ensure every part of the country progresses at the same rate, to avoid media criticism of a postcode lottery?" he wrote. “Is the adherence to moving through the priority groups so rigid that it is now slowing progress?”

He added that “every day missed costs lives and livelihoods.”

The Crick became a centre for vaccines on January 18, with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust leading the effort.

For information on vaccination bookings, visit http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.