Duke of Cambridge visits King's Lynn mass coronavirus vaccination centre
The Duke of Cambridge has been in Lynn this morning to see the work of the town's mass coronavirus vaccination centre in the Corn Exchange.
Prince William met staff, volunteers and patients as work to protect the wider population against the infection continues.
Vaccinations began at the theatre three weeks ago and hundreds of jabs are being delivered there during each day of operations.
During his visit, Prince William thanked staff and volunteers for all that they are doing to support the fight against Covid-19.
He was also asked about the health of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who went into hospital last week, and said the 99-year-old was "OK."
Figures released by health chiefs on Friday showed that more than 300,000 people across the Norfolk and Waveney region have now received their initial dose of a coronavirus vaccine, around 35 per cent of the over-16 population.
Officials say the total now includes around 60 per cent of people aged between 65 and 69, as well as around three-quarters of 70 to 74 year olds and more than 95 per cent of people aged 75 and over.
The mass vaccination programme has been led by the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, whose chief executive, Matthew Winn, said he had been "delighted" to welcome the Duke.
He said: "I am so proud of the immense efforts our NHS staff and army of volunteers have shown as we roll out this life-saving vaccination programme."
And Raj Thirunageswaram, the Lynn site's clinical operations manager, said: “It was a pleasure talking to the Duke and I was pleased to share with him how well all the different professionals here today work together as a team.”
NHS staff have been working alongside members of the armed forces and volunteers to help deliver the vaccinations at the theatre.
Among those who met Prince William today were Sandra Laycock, a vaccination nurse who undertakes clinical assessments to ensure it is safe to give patients the jab.
She said: “The Duke was really interested in all that we were doing here to protect people and help them return to a more normal way of life in the future.”
Immunisation nurse Margot Smith added:: “It was great to explain the vaccination process to the Duke – he was really interested in my role in the vaccination centre today and my usual role as a school immunisation nurse.“
Vaccinator Debbie Rudd said: “It was great to hear that the Duke was so positive about people having their vaccinations and he thanked us for everything we are doing to support the vaccination programme.”
And husband and wife volunteers Fliss and Stewart Davidson added: “It’s a great privilege to be part of the vaccination programme.
"We’ve been volunteering with the RVS since March last year and with the vaccination centres in Wisbech and Kings Lynn for several weeks.
"The Duke was interested to hear how our role helps reassure people who are waiting to have their vaccine and how positive the atmosphere is at the centre.”