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Coronavirus vaccine is on its way, but not yet for Newmarket as town's most vulnerable will have to get to Mildenhall for life-saving jab




Newmarket’s most vulnerable residents, those aged over 80, should start getting their potentially life-saving Covid vaccinations next week, but they will have to travel to Mildenhall.

The town’s community hospital, which was originally selected as a vaccination centre, was then found to be not large enough to satisfy stipulations laid down by NHS England so the Forest Heath Primary Care Network which includes surgeries in the Mildenhall, Red Lodge, Brandon, and Newmarket areas, working with the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG), will be giving the jabs at the Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall.

“We accept this is not ideal for patients from Newmarket surgeries but we are looking into the possibility of a centre in the town but that has to be agreed by NHS England,” said a WSCCG spokesman.

Newmarket's community hospital, which was originally selected as a vaccination centre, was then found to be not large enough to satisfy stipulations laid down by NHS England. Picture: Mark Westley
Newmarket's community hospital, which was originally selected as a vaccination centre, was then found to be not large enough to satisfy stipulations laid down by NHS England. Picture: Mark Westley

“The Jubilee Centre is large enough to vaccinate patients and observe them for the stipulated 15 minutes afterwards.”

In a statement, Newmarket’s Rookery Medical Centre said: “The latest update we have is that Forest Heath practices will receive their first batch of vaccines next week with a view to holding clinics between January 14 and 19.

"We will start contacting patients that qualify as soon as we can and that is likely to be towards the end of this week or early next week.”

This is how the Oxford-Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine works. Infographic: PA Graphics.
This is how the Oxford-Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine works. Infographic: PA Graphics.

Vaccination of care home staff has already started and the WSCCG spokesman said the roll out of vaccines to care home residents would start from the end of this week with teams from local surgeries giving the jabs.

As the national lockdown was confirmed yesterday, Paul Brown, manager of LoveNewmarket BID, said it was a ‘bitter blow’ to local businesses who had done well to navigate through the last few months.

But he added: “I still believe that if we can get out the other end the town still has so much potential and will flourish. Love Newmarket are 100% committed to the future of the town and will invest over £1 million pounds over the next five years should we be re-elected.”

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