Covid vaccinations get under way at Norfolk hospital

Mavis Cleaver vaccine QEH

Mavis Cleaver is ready to receive her first dose of vaccine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn - Credit: QEH

A Norfolk hospital has begun its coronavirus vaccination programme, with the most vulnerable members of the community at the head of the queue for the jab.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn said the majority of vaccinations will initially be prioritised for those aged 80 and over and care home workers, in line with government policy.

Any unfilled appointment slots will be used to vaccinate hospital staff at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19.

April Brown, chief nurse at the QEH, said: “This is a historic moment for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and our local community. The Covid-19 vaccination programme is spearheading our response to the pandemic.

"We are delighted to be able to start offering the vaccination to the most vulnerable people in our care, alongside some of our dedicated front line staff who have worked tirelessly in the run up to and over Christmas to deliver safe and compassionate care for our patients.

"The NHS has made an excellent start to rolling out vaccines to more than 500,000 people who need them most. This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken, and hundreds of thousands of people have already received their first vaccination dose, delivered by NHS teams in hundreds of hospital hubs, local GP-led services and some care homes.

"However, this will be a marathon and not a sprint. The recent rise in cases and new variant of the virus means that we cannot let our guard down.”

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West Norfolk residents Mavis and Ronald Cleaver were the first patients to receive vaccinations at the hospital this morning. Mrs Cleaver said: “We feel very privileged, it has been a difficult year for everybody and it feels wonderful to be here.”

Dr Brown said people should not contact the NHS to request the vaccine, it will contact you. She added people should ensure they attend their booked appointments and continue following guidance to control the virus including following social distancing rules, wearing face masks and washing their hands.

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