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New text drive aims to reach 40,000 people in Norfolk and Waveney region who still haven't had coronavirus vaccination

Health chiefs have launched a new drive to persuade people in West Norfolk who haven't yet had a coronavirus vaccination to do so.

Text messages are being sent to the estimated 40,000 people in the Norfolk and Waveney region who are yet to have the jab.

Although that figure equates to around seven per cent of the area's adult population, parts of Lynn have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the region.

If you haven't had a Covid jab, then health chiefs are likely to be texting you.
If you haven't had a Covid jab, then health chiefs are likely to be texting you.

Almost 40 per cent of over-16s in North Lynn still yet to have a first dose based on latest data, while the figure for the Town, South and West Lynn areas is around a third.

And Howard Martin, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's director for population health management and health inequalities, said warned the risks associated with Covid will only grow as winter draws closer.

He said: “Colder conditions encourage the spread of viruses including flu and respiratory infections.

"We saw how Covid spread through our communities last winter and the resulting lockdown over the Christmas period.

"We are determined to do all we can to protect as many people as possible from serious illness and hospitalisation.

“According to our patient records, there are around 40,000 people who are yet to get a vaccine.

“Some of these people will never choose to have a vaccine and we accept their choice. But we know there will be many others who really do want a vaccine but - for whatever reason - just can’t face it or find the right moment.

“We want these people to know that we are listening, and that there is tailored support available to them.”

The plea comes on the same day that new rules requiring people working in care homes to be double vaccinated were announced.

Although the measures are not due to come into force until November, affected workers will have to have their first dose by next Thursday, if they haven't already received it.

But Mr Martin said people who are still unsure about the jabs can discuss their concerns with staff at vaccine clinics.

He said: “After many months of delivering the vaccination programme, they are experts in the facts about vaccines and the protection they offer and are skilled at helping people feel relaxed.

“I would urge anyone who has questions or concerns to turn up at one of our drop-in clinics for a conversation before deciding whether to have a vaccine. There is no pressure, just talking is fine - and if you’d like to bring someone along to support you, please do.”

The text invitations appear as an alert from the NHS and include a web link to the full list of local walk in vaccination clinics, where no appointment is necessary.

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