First care home residents to receive Covid vaccine identified, council says
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Work has taken place over the weekend to identify the care home residents, health workers and vulnerable people in Norfolk who will be first to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston have been identified as hubs where the vaccine will be stored and administered.
And Norfolk County Council said they were expecting the vaccinations to start arriving in the county on Tuesday.
But council leaders urged against complacency when the vaccines do begin to be rolled out - stressing it remains crucial that people in Norfolk continue to adhere to restrictions to stem the spread of the virus.
Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "I really do welcome the arrival of the vaccine here in Norfolk, which is tomorrow, I believe.
"We are very lucky to have two vaccination hubs at the Norfolk and Norwich and the James Paget hospitals, where they have facilities to store the vaccinations.
"It is really important that the minister Helen Whatley has managed to ensure that care home residents, care workers and vulnerable people are the initial priorities.
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"Staff in adult social care have been working this weekend with care home providers to identify people for appointments, which we hope will begin in the hospitals very shortly.
"I do urge all residents, that when you are called for an appointment, please do take up the vaccine."
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Mr Borrett said care staff were facing "huge" extra pressures, not only in planning for the vaccine, but at a time when 250 residents and 400 staff were affected by outbreaks in homes.
He said: "I do thank all care workers for their hard work. We and the council will continue to support them with advice and, as we have done since the beginning of the outbreak, financial support."
But he also urged people against complacency, despite the hope offered by the vaccine's roll-out.
He said: "We are not out of this yet. The vaccine will take some months to roll out and we do need the spread of the virus to lesson and for life to return to normal."
He said outbreaks in communities would still affect care homes, so he urged people to keep complying with restrictions.
He said people should not take risks and continue social distancing, washing hands and wearing face coverings.