• Paper from last week indicates Bradford aims to offer covid vaccine to whole adult population by July
  • Under 50s could be jabbed as early as next week, report to councillors claims
  • City’s NHS, asked by HSJ, says some of the paper is now out of date

A city which has seen high levels of covid-19 infection and mortality through much of the pandemic has declared it plans to vaccinate its entire adult population by July — a target months ahead of national ambitions.

Health bosses in Bradford and Craven said in a paper to their health overview and scrutiny committee this month that they were aiming to vaccinate the entire over-50s population registered with GPs in the district by March, and all over-18s by July.

The paper, dated 12 January for a meeting next week, also indicates that a community pharmacy vaccination centre in the city could even begin vaccinating under 50s as early as next week. There is a deadline of 30 June to give all cohorts their second jabs, according to the report by the joint senior responsible officers for the Bradford Covid Vaccination Programme.

Nationally, the government has set a target of offering the first jab to the top four priority groups by February 15, and to all over 50s by May and to all adults by September. There has been speculation about these being met ahead of time but ambitions, both nationally and in Bradford, are likely to be limited by supply of vaccine doses. The government has not given permission for anyone under 70 to be vaccinated apart from the clinically extremely vulnerable, and health and care staff.

The NHS organisations in the area, approached by HSJ about the paper, indicated in a statement that “some of the trajectories included are now out of date” (see full comment below), though it did not specify whether its end of June plan remained.

The report, by Nancy O’Neill, deputy chief officer or Bradford and Craven CCG, and Karen Dawber, chief nurse of Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT, said: “This programme is not without its risks and there remain a number of unknowns and tight schedules to meet to deliver by the end of June 2021.

“However, we have a small but proven track record of delivering at pace within primary care networks and within hospital centres. We believe the lessons learnt from the initial three weeks and the rollout of the more stable AZ vaccine will enable continued success.”

It added: “It is important that we do not waste any vaccines, so meticulous planning and call and recall systems are imperative.”

As of 12 January, when the report was written, 14,380 people in the Bradford and Craven area had already been vaccinated – leaving a total of 435,073 people outstanding. The report said 25,530 vaccines would be required per week to hit the targets.

Bradford Teaching Hospital FT began vaccinating frontline health and social care staff with the Pfizer vaccine on 14 December. The report said the trust is currently getting 2,340 doses delivered each week and it expects to increase this further by the end of January.

Neighbouring trusts Airedale FT and Bradford District Care FT began using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this month, also initially focusing on frontline health and social care staff.

A total of 10 primary care networks across Bradford and Craven are designated as vaccination centres and have initially focussed delivery on the over 80-year-olds and care home staff.

NHS England has commissioned a community pharmacy vaccination centre, at Rimmingtons pharmacy in Bradford, to provide 5,000 vaccinations a week from 25 January, with plans for three more similar centres in the district, the report added.

A community vaccination centre has also been commissioned by NHSE in Bradford’s Jacobs Well car park and is expected to begin operating on the week of 1 February. Health bosses are also negotiating with a building owner to open a second community vaccination site.

Bradford has seen 839 deaths within 28 days of a positive covid tests since the start of the pandemic, meaning it’s been one of the worst hit cities in Yorkshire – behind only Leeds, which has seen 999 deaths, and Sheffield, which has had 903. It had high infection rates and covid restrictions during the summer and early autumn, when nearly all other areas were much less affected.

The city’s NHS organisations told HSJ in a statement: “The paper was written well in advance of the meeting. The paper set out the progress and challenges of the vaccination programme in Bradford district and Craven; demonstrating the potential capability to vaccinate based on the guidance at that time.

“Due to the understandably changing nature of the national vaccination programme, some of the trajectories included are now out of date and working with partners across West Yorkshire, we continually update our modelling to reflect changes in national policy and deliver vaccines in line with the latest guidance.”