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Almost a million COVID-19 vaccine doses are given out in Norfolk and Waveney as vaccine programme continues at pace

Nearly one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given out in Norfolk and Waveney since the start of the vaccination rollout in December.

According to data published today by NHS England and NHS Improvement 948,430 doses have been administered in the biggest vaccination drive in health service history.

The figures show that 40% of people aged over 16 in Norfolk and Waveney have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 33% of adults in England. This puts us second out of the 42 health and care systems in England.

Some 71% of people aged over 16 in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first dose, compared to 65% of adults in England. This puts us eighth out of the 42 health and care systems.

In the week to 9 May, 53,705 doses were given of which 9,106 were first doses and 44,599 were second doses.

Norfolk and Waveney health system is keen that no one is left behind and a huge amount of work is going into vaccinating people in areas where vaccine uptake has been lower than average or where virus transmission rates remain high.

The Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) mobile vaccination team bus continues to visit specially chosen sites across Norfolk and Waveney.  Over the last fortnight, the bus has been focused on vaccinating workers in some of the region’s largest food production facilities – after a successful week at Pilgrim’s Food Group in King’s Lynn the bus has now moved on to Kerry Foods in Norwich and has vaccinated around 400 people to date.

The local NHS, County Council and district councils are also planning to provide future on-bus vaccinations to other individuals and communities that find visiting a permanent vaccination site more difficult through lifestyle or hesitancy in using mainstream health services.

The on-board community vaccination team – including immunisers and support staff - is being provided by Norfolk Community Health Care NHS Trust. As well as making access to a vaccine easier and more convenient, their clinicians take time to answer questions and address any concerns on board the bus.

Melanie Craig, Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “I would like to thank all our partners and everyone involved in the vaccine programme in Norfolk and Waveney for doing such an amazing job. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts.”

She added: “We continue to urge local people to be patient as fewer vaccines are currently available, something the health system had expected and planned for. Vaccine supply is expected to increase over the coming days and weeks, meaning that more options will become available on the national booking system.

“If you cannot find an appointment at a vaccination site close to where you live please do not contact your GP practice as they need to keep telephones clear for patients needing an appointment with a GP or nurse for other health issues and urgent care.”

Today the NHS COVID vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, opened to people in their thirties, on NHS.uk. Those aged 38 and 39 now qualify for a jab with around a million people nationally being sent text messages that allow them to access the national booking service at the touch of a button with further invitations to follow in the coming days and weeks.

The move to the next age group comes alongside nearly three quarters of people aged between 40 and 49 having had their first dose, less than a fortnight after they were offered a jab.

Younger people who have had COVID-19 are just as likely to develop long COVID symptoms. Having the vaccine will help protect people from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, reducing the chances of being affected by the virus longer term.

Since the vaccination rollout began, nearly 30 million people nationally have been vaccinated with a first dose in England, two thirds of the total adult population.

More than one third of adults have had both doses, meaning they have maximum protection from the virus, with second doses remaining a priority.

Pregnant women will also be able to book through the national booking service from today and will be directed to vaccination centres offering Pfizer and Moderna in their local area in line with JCVI Guidance.

The NHS is also sending text reminders to people who have not yet taken up their offer of jab and also to people overdue their second dose to ensure nobody is left behind.

The NHS currently vaccinates using three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which have been approved as safe and effective by the world leading medical regulator the MHRA.

People 39 and under without an underlying health condition will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with updated JCVI guidance last week.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.                                     

People aged 16+ who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 (or whose welfare may be at risk if their carer falls ill) can register for a vaccine online at apps.norfolk.gov.uk/carervax

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Public urged to continue playing their part

Millions of people are already benefiting from protection from the virus and this has contributed to the dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus we are now seeing.

But NHS staff are still having to work hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in our history, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it.

So we need the public to continue to play their part too:

  • unless you have been invited before, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, and make sure you come back for your second dose;
  • and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.

 Second doses

If you had your first vaccination at a GP led site or Hospital Hub, they will contact you when it is time for your second dose and we strongly encourage everyone who is due to have their second dose to attend their appointment.

If you have booked your vaccinations via the national booking system, you should already have your second dose appointment booked.

A single dose of the vaccine provides a good level of protection from COVID-19, but the second dose is important to ensure lasting protection. The second ‘booster’ dose is still safe and effective if given after the 12-week interval. 

We would ask people to be patient and to bear with us. Please don’t contact your GP practice until you are past 12 weeks. No one will get left behind and our teams are doing a fantastic job to keep the vaccination programme moving and get people booked in.

More information about the vaccination programme can be found here: https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccination-programme   

 

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