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King's Lynn surgery chiefs hail 'landmark' of first coronavirus vaccinations



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Senior health professionals have hailed the first day of coronavirus vaccinations in West Norfolk as a landmark for the area.

Nearly 1,000 patients are expected to receive their initial dose of the jab over the next few days at the St James Medical Practice in County Court Road.

The surgery is one of seven hubs across Norfolk and Waveney, along with the Fakenham Medical Practice.

COVID-19 vaccinations have begun at the St James Medical Centre in King's Lynn.. (43575050)
COVID-19 vaccinations have begun at the St James Medical Centre in King's Lynn.. (43575050)

And Dr Prabir Mitra, St James' executive partner, said the work offered some hope near the end of a year which he says is the hardest he has faced in more than 25 years of GP practice.

He said: "This is a landmark day. From the beginning of Covid we have had negativities and illnesses and hospital admissions and deaths, all of that.

"We were only battling it out by avoiding it. This is the only positive step we have had so far."

Keith Blades receiving the vaccination.. (43575066)
Keith Blades receiving the vaccination.. (43575066)

The practice, together with officials from the region's clinical commissioning group and staff from other surgeries in the town, have spent much of the past week preparing the site so that vaccinations could begin as scheduled at 8am this morning, with work only finishing last night.

Practice manager Kathy Foley paid tribute to the NHS colleagues, businesses and volunteers who have been helping with the work.

She said: "The team we've got here are brilliant, they've pulled it together.

"Everybody's come together. We've got people down there on the car parking, volunteers sitting with the patients, directing them.

Peter Adcock receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.. (43575071)
Peter Adcock receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.. (43575071)

"It's overwhelming the support we've had from people who are nothing to do with the practices."

Former surgery receptionist Enid Bright was among the first to receive the jab earlier today.

Also among those receiving the vaccination was Peter Adcock, 80, of Reffley, whose daughter has herself battled the virus this year.

Vaccinations have begun at the St James Medical Centre in King's Lynn.. (43575064)
Vaccinations have begun at the St James Medical Centre in King's Lynn.. (43575064)

He said: "It's good to get it done. I couldn't believe I was first in the queue. All I can think is I'm lucky because my surname begins with an A."

Keith Blades, 91, of Castle Rising, said it had been a strange time during the peak of the pandemic and was also pleased to have the jab.

He said: "You know you've had the injection and you'll perhaps be alright."

Practice managers Kathy Foley and Dr Prabir Mitra.. (43575078)
Practice managers Kathy Foley and Dr Prabir Mitra.. (43575078)

Around 975 patients are set to receive the vaccine in the first three days of the hub operation.

Patients who have received their initial dose of the vaccine today will need to return in three weeks' time for their second injection.

Officials have stressed that patients will be contacted when it is their turn to receive the vaccination and should not contact their own surgeries.



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