'Strong start': Good news on Norfolk and Waveney vaccinations

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is administered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is administered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

Covid vaccination rollout has got off to a “strong start" in Norfolk and Waveney, the chief of the organisation in charge of the programme has said. 

On Tuesday, Melanie Craig, chief executive of the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), updated the governing body on the vaccine programme.

Ms Craig said they had hit their January 24 target to offer all older adult care home residents and staff a vaccine, except at homes where there was currently an outbreak. 

On the wider rollout, she said in her report: “The biggest constraint we face now is the supply of the vaccine and equipment, but with the rollout of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine we are opening new vaccination centres and significantly increasing the number of people being vaccinated each week.” 

Updating members on the expansion of sites offering vaccines, Ms Craig said there was one large centre, based in Norwich's Castle Quarter, with plans for a further 12 or 13. She did not say where they would be.

Ms Craig said the difficulty had been logistics, in particular, due to supply and the Pfizer vaccine needing to be kept at low temperatures.

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Norfolk's first mass Covid-19 vaccination centre is based in the food court at Norwich's Castle Quarter shopping centre - Credit: Brittany Woodman

 

The AstraZeneca vaccine addresses this issue and she said we could expect to see more community pharmacies and large centres offering the vaccine going forward. 

She said the aim was to have a good spread of locations but accepted there had been community concerns. 

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“We know that location has been an issue for people, we know people want a location close to where they live,” she said.  

Offering the governing body positive news, Ms Craig said 56pc of those aged over 80 in Norfolk and Waveney had received their first dose as of last week and they hoped to have them all done by January 31. 

Melanie Craig. Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership executive lead, Picture: Norfolk and

Melanie Craig. Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership executive lead, Picture: Norfolk and Waveney CCG - Credit: Archant

Board member Hilary Byrne asked Ms Craig if anything could be done to stop people receiving multiple vaccine offers from different centres. 

Ms Craig advised if two options were given they tried to take the first one but said they had not “got a way around this” at the moment. 

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