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Vaccination programme going well says surgery in King's Lynn

St James Surgery in Lynn says that it is full steam ahead for vaccinating patients aged over 80 this week.

The building in County Court Road is playing its full part the national effort to get on top of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it is proving a challenge to keep the throughput constant.

St James Surgery in King's Lynn. Picture: Prabir Mitra
St James Surgery in King's Lynn. Picture: Prabir Mitra

Norfolk and Waveney CCG said that vaccine sites rely on deliveries to distribute the vaccine and these may happen on certain days, meaning some days they are waiting for its arrival.

This should not be taken to indicate there is any shortage of the vaccine, something “categorically” denied by the CCG.

The Pfzier vaccine in use at the moment must be kept at -70Cand is being distributed from centres in Belgium, Germany and the US, needing to travel by land and air.

Before it can be delivered to local areas it may need to be stored in distribution centres.

This is not something within the local authority’s control.

Despite the vaccine being transported so cautiously within a specially designed container, local surgeries have been vaccinating as much as possible.

A spokesperson for St James Surgery said: “The practice still has more patients over-80 booked this week and next week; we are also offering appointments to front-line healthcare workers.

“We are also delivering the vaccine to local care home patients and staff, along with housebound patients if they are unable to get to the practice.

“Our staff and colleagues from other nearby practices continue to work incredibly hard to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible – please don’t contact us to find out when you will get the vaccine – our phone lines are incredibly busy and we need to keep delivering GP services alongside the vaccination programme.”

Many patients are coming to the surgery looking to get the vaccine, or phoning up the staff attempting to book one before they are eligible.

Sadie Parker, Associate Director of Primary Care at NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “The vaccine offers people hope and that is a wonderful thing – we understand that people are eager to have the vaccine so they can avoid becoming ill with COVID-19 and get back to a more normal way of life.

“But we have to prioritise vaccinations for those who are most at risk, in line with national guidance.

“This means vaccinating those aged 80 and over alongside health and care workers first - as well as care home staff and residents – in line with the guidance provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.”

As for parking concerns the practice has said: “There is currently no parking for staff but it is something they can claim back through their primary network. We are re-circulating information to these staff so they are reminded of this and can claim back parking expenses.”

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