Covid vaccine rollout shifts dramatically in favour of second doses
- Credit: Ian Burt
New figures show the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Norfolk and Waveney has shifted dramatically in favour of second doses.
A record 58,878 people in the area received follow-up injections in the seven days up to April 11, according to the latest data published by NHS England.
Just 2,657 were administered initial doses in the same period, a stark contrast to the 71,222 given out during one week in January.
The drop-off in first injections is to be expected, however, given the reduction in vaccine supply across the country throughout April.
Second doses for more vulnerable members of the population are therefore being prioritised by health officials.
But it means an increasing number in Norfolk and Waveney are now fully vaccinated, including 55,925 people aged 80 and above.
In all, 78.4pc of over-80s have had both jabs, the 13th best vaccination rate out of the 43 health systems in the country - up from 32nd last week.
Overall, 147,939 people aged 16 and over in the area have received a second shot, more than one in six (17.4pc).
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Melanie Craig, chief executive of Norfolk and Waveney CCG, which is leading the local rollout, said: "Being vaccinated gives you the best protection from becoming seriously ill if you contract Covid-19.
"I encourage everyone who is offered the vaccine to take up the offer as soon as possible.
“Second doses are equally as important, so don’t delay when you’re invited for an appointment. You need both doses for the highest level of protection."
While the number of patients administered first doses has only slightly risen since last week, the total in Norfolk and Waveney has now reached 566,923 - almost exactly two thirds of the adult population (66.5pc).
Earlier this week the rollout was extended to over-45s after the government confirmed everyone over the age of 50 had been offered a jab.
Several walk-in clinics at mass vaccination sites had to be cancelled after a sudden influx of bookings from 45 to 49-year-olds.
A drop-in session will, however, take place at Great Yarmouth's Market Gates Shopping Centre on Friday (April 16) from 9am to 3pm and Saturday (April 17) from 10am to 4pm, with no appointment necessary.