Gas crisis could ‘blow Covid winter plans out the water’ – amid fears of new lockdowns

THE UK's gas crisis could "blow Covid winter plans out the water", an expert has warned.

Vaccines required for teens and the booster rollout need to be kept cold – with the shortage of CO2 gas sparking fears they could be affected.

It comes after it was confirmed local authorities have retained special powers to plunge areas back into Covid restrictions if cases rise.

Officials are monitoring the supply of gas and are adamant that dry ice, which is a crucial element in keeping the jabs cool, won't be affected.

However the current CO2 shortage has experts worried, after supply chain issues and low solar and wind output caused tight supplies ahead of winter.

A senior scientific adviser to the Government told the i if the rollout was to keep going, CO2 would have to be diverted from other sectors.

This could lead to shortages in hospitals and the economy, they warned, as home energy supplies are also feared to be hit.

They said unless the Government cam “lay it hands on enough CO2 for the vaccines” then its Plan A would be “blown out of the water” – with the country forced to go straight to Plan B.

This would mean face masks and social distancing back as compulsory, and working from home for the majority.

The Government laid out it's Plan A, which largely relies on the vaccines.

Children over 12 can now get one dose of a Covid vaccine, and the rollout of booster jabs for over-50s has begun.

It is hoped this will be enough to keep the lid on this wave of the pandemic over the winter months.

A Government spokesperson said: “We are confident the COVID-19 vaccination programme will not be impacted by this issue.

“We continue to monitor supplies across critical sectors and are in regular contact with industry, food and health and care sectors on their CO2 supplies.”


Pfizer, which is the main player in the latest stages of vaccine rollouts, needs to be kept at -70C,

If CO2 shortages continues, there is concern the delivery and storage of the huge amounts of ordered vaccine ahead of the winter will be affected.

The jab can only be kept for one month at refrigerated temperatures – however, the Department of Health said dry ice supply shouldn't be affected as the government uses pre-agreed quotas.

Industry experts yesterday also warned that supermarkets are two weeks away from running out of meat made in Britain.

The gas is also used in packaging meat to extend its shelf life.

And there are fears of a draught beer shortage within weeks as the gas puts the fizz into our pints, at the same time that the price of a pint could go up by 25p.

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