Snettisham and Swaffham medical practices will be used as COVID-19 vaccination sites from next week
Two surgeries in West Norfolk will be used as vaccination sites from next week as the NHS protects the most vulnerable patients against COVID-19.
Along with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, St James Medical Practice and St John’s Surgery in Terrington St John, both Snettisham Surgery and the Manor Farm Medical Centre, in Swaffham, will be used to help with the vaccine roll out.
Almost 40 per cent of all people over the age of 80 living in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first vaccination against COVID-19.
It comes as the number of people vaccinated in the area approaches 30,000.
In Norfolk and Waveney, out of a population of 65,000 over 80s - the most vulnerable age group – some 25,500 people have had the life-saving jab.
The NHS is driving forward the vaccination of the rest of the over 80s and other most at risk groups still to be vaccinated.
North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: "I welcome this additional site in Snettisham which will help boost the rollout of the vaccine to vulnerable groups in West Norfolk.
"It has been a massive effort so far by the NHS and everyone involved in the sites at St James', Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), and Terrington to give jabs to thousands of people.
"The QEH is under considerable pressure and as the vaccine rollout continues the best thing we can all do is follow the rules - stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."
Patients are being invited to be vaccinated and vaccination is by appointment only. Please do not ask your GP practice or hospital when you will receive the vaccine. Please wait for your invite.
There will be also be scale vaccination sites coming online, including in West Norfolk, in the coming weeks. Details of specific sites will be announced nearer the sites opening.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG,) which is co-ordinating the roll-out of the vaccination programme, said: “We’ve made a great start beginning to protect the most vulnerable people.
"That’s testament to the immense effort made by doctors, nurses and administrators in General Practice, staff in our hospitals and in the clinical commissioning group. But truly this is going to be a marathon not a sprint.
“More GP-led sites are about to open, and these will be followed by more large vaccination centres to drive up the numbers we can vaccinate every day into the many thousands, with a spread of sites reaching into every corner of Norfolk and Waveney.”
The NHS has worked with district and county councils across Norfolk and Waveney, along with voluntary groups, private businesses and the police, to set-up and run the vaccination sites in what has been a real shared endeavour.
Swaffham's Breckland and county councillor Ed Colman said: “It’s great to see that Swaffham’s Manor Farm Medial Centre will play a part in the vaccination roll out.
“The addition of Manor Farm will be warmly welcomed by residents not only in swaffham but in the surrounding villages as well.
“It’s a reminder of just how hard some incredibly dedicated staff are working to roll this vaccine out.
“I want to thank everyone who has played a part in this national effort and also pay tribute to everyone involved in standing up this facility at pace.”
Health chiefs thank everyone who has offered sites for the vaccination programme and no further sites are currently needed.
The licencing of the “fridge-friendly” AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine which can be stored at normal fridge temperatures will make delivering the vaccine easier. The Pfizer jab which has been licenced since early December must be stored at -70 degree centigrade.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will allow a step-change in the NHS' ability to take vaccine into care homes.
Until the vaccine has reached most of the vulnerable groups our best protection for ourselves, family, community and the NHS, is to wear a face covering, keep our distance and regularly wash our hands.