Fourteen new sites across Suffolk and north east Essex to deliver coronavirus vaccine
Fourteen new sites are to deliver the coronavirus vaccine across Suffolk and north east Essex from next week.
The Primary Care Network sites will vaccinate people according to the current priority schedule which includes elderly vulnerable people, aged 80 or over, and health and care staff.
The new venues, which go live from Monday, are in addition to the sites which launched last month in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Clacton, Colchester and Woolpit and takes the total to 20.
The new sites are:
- Fryatt Hospital, Harwich
- Jubilee Centre, Mildenhall
- Constable Country Medical Practice, East Bergholt
- Debenham Leisure Centre
- Hadleigh Health Centre
- Hardwicke House Surgery Cornard branch, Sudbury
- Lavenham branch, Long Melford Surgery
- Saxmundham Health
- Sizewell Sports & Social Club, Leiston
- The Grove Medical Centre, Felixstowe
- The Mix, Stowmarket
- Trinity Park Conference Centre, Ipswich
- Woodbridge Community Hall
Additional sites will be announced in due course.
Dr Mark Shenton, a Suffolk GP, said: “This is excellent news and will really allow our system to ramp up the vaccination process for local people and communities.
“GPs and primary care staff will be in touch with people as and when they become eligible for the vaccine.
“They will not be able to vaccinate everyone immediately so please be patient whilst as we contact our patients aged over 80 during January.
“When you are invited to get yours, I would strongly advise you to have it.”
Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at the Suffolk and North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are aligned with the government’s ambition to vaccinate as many people from those high priority groups as possible over the coming weeks.
“These vaccination centres are in addition to the work already underway to vaccinate care home residents and staff.
“This is a big effort collectively and the system is trying to manage this in the safest possible way.”
In Norfolk and Waveney, almost 40 per cent of all people over the age of 80 living in the area have received their first vaccination against Covid-19.
The number of people vaccinated in the area is now approaching 30,000.
GP sites across the area – including Kirkley Mill Surgery in Lowestoft and Thetford Healthy Living Centre – have been acting as 'primary care hubs', vaccinating patients registered at their own practice as well as patients from other neighbouring practices.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, GP and clinical chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to thank our primary care and PCN staff who continue to work tirelessly to roll out the vaccine across Norfolk and Waveney. Feedback from both patients and staff has been extremely positive and we look forward to reaching more patients as additional vaccination sites go live in the coming days and weeks.
“The vaccine is great news and will save many lives, but we need people to be patient. Please wait until you are contacted with an appointment for vaccination – don’t contact your surgery as they are already incredibly busy
“This virus hasn’t gone away. We need to protect ourselves and our loved ones, it’s so important that we all keep following national and local guidelines – as well as washing our hands, wearing face coverings and staying two metres apart.”
Next week, 10 more sites across Norfolk and Waveney in community buildings and GP premises – including Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold – will begin delivering the new AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine alongside the Pfizer jab.
Dr Dhesi added: "We’ve made a great start beginning to protect the most vulnerable people. That’s testament to the immense effort made by doctors, nurses and administrators in General Practice, staff in our hospitals and in the clinical commissioning group. But truly this is going to be a marathon not a sprint.
“More GP-led sites are about to open, and these will be followed by more large vaccination centres to drive up the numbers we can vaccinate every day into the many thousands, with a spread of sites reaching into every corner of Norfolk and Waveney.”