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Covid booster jabs are King’s Lynn front-page news



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Boosting the uptake of booster jabs was rightly front-page news in last week’s Lynn News.

Across King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 65.8 per cent of people have had their booster jab. However, in parts of Lynn the percentage is nearer 40 per cent.

During a call with the Norfolk and Waveney NHS on Friday, I raised the need to make it as easy as possible to get a jab and walk-in appointments, having teams going to areas with lower take up, as well as more local pharmacy options. All these things are in place or being worked on.

Covid vaccinations.
Covid vaccinations.

Research from the Office of National Statistics highlights that the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy are concerns about side effects and the long-term health effects of the vaccines. I encourage anyone who is concerned to talk to their GP or look at the official information from the NHS and independent regulator on the vaccines.

The benefits are clear – around 90 per cent of those currently in hospital with serious complications from Covid-19 are unvaccinated. It is important unvaccinated people come forward and join the 85.8 per cent of people locally who have had their first jabs and 80.6 per cent who have had their second. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your friends whether it be a first, second, or booster dose.

This will also help the NHS to cope with current pressures at QEH and across the health and care system. One of the major challenges is workforce absence which is why it is right to review whether the self-isolation period can be reduced further.

The most important meeting I had this week was on Monday when I met the Health Secretary to make the compelling case for QEH to be selected as part of the new hospital programme.

Along with local MPs, Duncan Baker and Jerome Mayhew, I impressed on the Health Secretary the urgent need to replace the ageing buildings which have over 200 props supporting the decaying roof with a modern hospital fit for the future. We talked about the challenges of RAAC planks for patients and staff and the impact of the temporary closure of the critical care unit last year.

The Health Secretary knew that 15,500 people had signed a petition in support of a new hospital. I presented petitions from local residents that I was given by campaigners when we met before Christmas. We underlined the backing the campaign has from Liz Truss, Steve Barclay and other MPs in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Lincolnshire, West Norfolk borough council, as well as other groups locally.

Much of the meeting focused on the proposals the Trust has put forward and we expressed our strong support for a single-phase new build that would help transform health care outcomes locally. This was a positive and timely meeting with the Health Secretary ahead of decisions on the next phase of the process.

I will continue making the case in Westminster.



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