Mildenhall and Haverhill to see new coronavirus vaccination centres open as jabs drive steps up a gear
More vaccination hubs are set to open in Suffolk as the government prepares to move its coronavirus-busting shot drive up a gear.
Two centres in West Suffolk are set to open their doors to patients, with one in Mildenhall set to start giving out the Covid-19 beating vaccination tomorrow and Haverhill's new hub opening on Saturday.
In Mildenhall its the former Forest Heath District Council headquarters in College Heath Road will be welcoming patients with appointments through its doors, while in Haverhill Unity Schools Partnership's head office in Park Road will be the new jabs centre.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said he was pleased the council offices were being used as a hub for the life-saving shots.
"We urge anyone who is eligible to have their vaccine and to continue following the hands, face, space guidance to help protect the NHS ans save lives," said the Ixworth councillor.
And Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership told Suffolk News: "We are delighted that some of our office space in Park Road has been taken over as a vaccination centre and are excited to see local people given protection from coronavirus."
The opening of the centres comes as the NHS is to text over 55s and unpaid carers about the inoculations, a move health bosses have said would make it easier for those eligible to book an appointment for a jab.
Those getting a text from the health service will be invited using the national booking service, and the NHS will never ask for payment.
There has been a dip in vaccine supplies recently, but there is predicted to be a large increase in the number of doses being administered over the rest of this month.
This will allow doctors to increase the number of second doses being given out without having to slow the rate of first doses, which means the country is on course to reach all over-50s and those with underlying health conditions by the end of this March.
Across the country more than 23 million first doses have been given out, with around 1.3 million second shots administered.
In another boost to the vaccination rollout earlier today it was revealed three quarters of people who have had their first of two jabs in Suffolk have reported a positive experience.
Healthwatch Suffolk told the county council's health and wellbeing board that some 75 per cent of survey respondents said they had a positive experience getting their jab, with 13 per cent having a bad experience and 12 per cent reporting mixed feelings.
Among the top positive comments were vaccination centres being well organised, the work of staff and volunteers at those sites, short waiting times on arrival, clear explanations of the process, centres being Covid-secure and ease of use for the online booking system.
However, the top issues raised included problems with the online booking system, instances of people not being contacted or missing out, distance to some vaccination centres, and some people having to wait for long periods of time on arrival before they were seen.