Town to get coronavirus vaccine hub next month

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is prepared for administering. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A Covid vaccine hub will be opening in Downham Market in February - Credit: Denise Bradley

Officials have announced a Norfolk town will get a vaccination hub next month.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss announced today that Downham Market will have Covid-19 vaccine provision available next month.

It follows concerns from residents that vulnerable people are being overlooked in the town.

Downham Market town centre, looking onto the Town Square and clock. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Downham Market town centre, looking onto the Town Square and clock. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Currently in the South West Norfolk area, hubs are established in King's Lynn, Swaffham, Terrington St John and Thetford.

The MP said: "I raised directly with the vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi in relation to a vaccine hub being located in Downham Market and I am very pleased that confirmation has been received this week that there will be a hub opening later in February.

"At the moment, over 80s in the Downham area and surrounding villages have been receiving the vaccine at either the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or Swaffham.

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"In the first tranche, vaccine centres were located across the region to ensure as wide a reach as possible.

"The Pfizer vaccine, which was the first one licenced to be used in the UK, requires extremely cold storage facilities hence only a limited number of sites could offer this provision."

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She said as the roll-out continues and more of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine becomes available, more hubs be set up as the "vaccine is easier to store and transport." 

She added: "If there are any over 80’s still waiting to hear about their vaccine, I know that GPs and the CCG are currently working through their patient lists and you will be contacted either via letter or phone inviting you to a vaccine site.

"If there are any concerns in relation to transport, this should be raised at time of booking and the option of community transport can be made available."

Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, branded the forecast five-year closure of the bridge at Eccles

Liz Truss has confirmed Downham Market will be getting a vaccine hub. - Credit: Ian Burt

The MP said currently 65pc of west Norfolk residents aged over 80 have been vaccinated and "all care homes and staff" should be vaccinated by the end of January.

She added: "This includes housebound residents and their carers.

"The vaccine roll out has been continuing at pace and I know the CCG and NHS staff, with support from councils and volunteers, are working flat out on this."

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