Leeds news LIVE: Fears of delays to lockdown easing amid ‘constrained’ vaccine supplies

Welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post's live news blog on Thursday March 18.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 9:15 am
The YEP's live news blog on Thursday March 18

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Live Leeds news,: Coronavirus latest and traffic updates

Last updated: Thursday, 18 March, 2021, 11:14

Large police cordon in place

Police have cordoned off a large area of Kirkstall Road due to the incident.

Officers are guarding police tape and directing people away from the area.

West Yorkshire Police statement

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed they were called to Kirkstall Road over concerns for a person’s safety.

The incident is ongoing.

Northern trains between Leeds and Harrogate delayed due to incident

All train lines are blocked between Burley Park and Leeds due to the incident.

Trains between Harrogate and Leeds may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes.

Junction closed in all directions - avoid the area

Kirkstall Road is closed in all directions at the junction with Willow Road.

There is heavy traffic and drivers are advised to avoid the area while police deal with the incident.

Huge emergency service presence at the scene over concerns for person’s safety

Police, firefighters and paramedics have been called to Kirkstall Road over concerns for a person’s safety.

The road is closed at the junction with Willow Road.

We have contacted West Yorkshire Police for more information.

Kirkstall Road closed due to police incident

An ongoing police incident has closed Kirkstall Road at the junction with Willow Road. This is near to Cardigan Fields Leisure Park.

The road is closed all all traffic and bus services 33 and 34 are diverting along Burley Road.

Shortfall from Indian producer behind delay to AstraZeneca vaccine for UK

A delay in the delivery of five million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from India is thought to be behind a forthcoming reduction in the UK’s supply.

The delivery had been expected from the Serum Institute of India, the BBC reported, but has been held up by four weeks.

The Department of Health has said the Government is still on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.

A spokesperson for the Serum Institute of India told the BBC: “Five million doses had been delivered a few weeks ago to the UK and we will try to supply more later, based on the current situation and the requirement for the government immunisation programme in India.”

Pfizer spokeswoman said deliveries “remain on track” despite concerns around supply

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said its supply of the Covid-19 vaccine to the UK is “not experiencing any disruption” after the NHS warned there will be a “significant reduction” in weekly stock from the end of March.

A letter to local health leaders in England from the NHS said there had been “reductions in national inbound vaccines supply” and asked organisations to ensure no further appointments were uploaded to booking systems in April.

But the reason for the slowdown remains unclear, as AstraZeneca said on Wednesday evening: “Our UK domestic supply chain is not experiencing any disruption and there is no impact on our delivery schedule.”

Fears of delays to lockdown easing amid ‘constrained’ vaccine supplies

Reduced vaccine supplies could slow the easing of lockdown restrictions, an expert has warned, after health officials said volumes for first doses will be “significantly constrained” from the end of March.

More than 25 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, but the NHS has warned of a month-long “significant reduction” in weekly supply of the jabs.

It comes as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to meet on Thursday to discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine, after a dozen European countries suspended rollout of the jab over isolated cases of blood clotting.

A letter to local health leaders in England asked vaccination centres and community pharmacy-led services to close unfilled bookings and “ensure no further appointments are uploaded” to booking systems in April.

NHS bosses said that as a result of the supply issues, people under the age of 50 should only get the jab if they are in a priority group, meaning younger adults could face a longer wait to be be vaccinated.

Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said while it was not yet known why the delay had occurred, the “ripple effects could last for months”.

“It will undoubtedly make the meeting of the target dates for lifting restrictions more difficult than they otherwise would have been,” he said.

“By pushing back the under-50s first doses, their second doses are also being pushed back.

“If full vaccination becomes required for holidays abroad or even more mundane things like going to the cinema, millions of younger people may end up being excluded from participating for the whole summer.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street press conference that vaccine supply was “always lumpy” and insisted the nation was on track to meet the target of offering a first dose to all over-50s by April 15.

Welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post’s live news blog on Thursday March 18.

Here is the latest Leeds news this morning:

"Pandemic did not cause education inequality and just because schools have reopened it does not mean it will go away"

It could take ten years to fix systematic problems in the education system that have been failing disadvantaged children for decades warn education leaders in Leeds.

Leeds Council launches new coronavirus contract tracing service with the NHS and Better Together Leeds

A new initiative has been launched in Leeds to track down the contacts of people testing positive for Covid to help reduce the spread across the city.

Leeds students call for rent payment reform as they fork out on empty homes

Students in Leeds say they are being “treated as piggy banks” as they call for more support to help pay rent on empty homes.

Buildings in Leeds to be given eco-friendly upgrades as part of £25million scheme

Buildings across Leeds are being given a “greener” makeover costing more than £25million as the city moves towards becoming carbon neutral.

Drunk thug brandished dagger and sword in street before stabbing his friend in the back

A drunk man stabbed his friend in the back after brandishing a sword and a dagger during a night out.

Hyde Park paedophile downloaded indecent child images for five years before he was arrested at work

A paedophile was arrested at his workplace after West Yorkshire Police received information that he had been downloading indecent images of children.

Police warn drivers MOTs exist 'for a reason' as six vehicles seized in one day in these Leeds areas

Six vehicles were seized in just one day in a police operation covering the Headingley and Hyde Park areas - as officers warned of the dangers of not having a valid MOT.

One new Covid death recorded at Leeds hospitals in latest daily NHS update

There has been one new Covid death recorded in Leeds hospitals, according to the latest daily update.

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