Next stage of Covid vaccine roll-out gets under way

Audrey Burton, 97, receiving her COVID-19 vaccination at the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in No

The next stage of the Covid vaccination programme is getting under way across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

The next stage of the coronavirus vaccination programme is under way, with 15 million people having already been given their first dose. 

From Monday, jabs are being administered to patients aged 65 to 69, and 16 to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions.

Dr Christina Green at the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in Norwich holding one of the vaccinatio

The next stage of the Covid vaccination programme is getting under way across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

It comes after the government successfully hit its target to offer vaccines to the top four priority groups by February 15.

That includes 13,165,548 delivered in England alone, of which 12,675,663 were first doses of the jab.

And this week, those in priority groups five and six are being invited to appointments at hospitals, GP-led sites and mass vaccination centres in Norfolk and Waveney. 

Some under-70s in the area began receiving their vaccines last week where doses were available. 

Also included in the next two cohorts are freelance and unpaid carers, who were not inoculated alongside frontline health and social care workers

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "After a strong start, the NHS vaccination programme - the biggest and fastest in Europe - is entering a new phase.

Alan Muse, from Diss, receiving his COVID-19 vaccination at the new mass vaccination centre at Conna

The next stage of the Covid vaccination programme is getting under way across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

“This is an exciting moment as we now move on to those aged 65 and over and the clinically vulnerable as part of our plan to vaccinate as many people as possible who can benefit from it.

Most Read

“However, if you have already been offered a jab but have not taken it up it is not too late. Please come forward and help us to help you.”

As the first phase of the roll-out continues, almost 1.2m appointment letters were due to land on doorsteps across the nation by Saturday (February 13), with the same amount set to arrive this week.

The Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Covid vaccines are being offered as mass vaccination centres including Castle Quarter in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

Those who receive a letter can choose from large-scale vaccination centres or a pharmacy site.

In Norfolk and Waveney, there are currently four large centres - in Norwich, King's Lynn, Attleborough and North Walsham - and a single pharmacy, in Lowestoft, delivering jabs. 

There is also a mass vaccination site across the Cambridgeshire border Horsefair Shopping Centre in Wisbech.

Connaught Hall in Attleborough where a new mass vaccination centre has opened. Picture: Danielle Boo

The next stage of the Covid vaccination programme is getting under way across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

People are being asked to book jabs online by logging on to the national booking service.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

GP-led vaccination sites will initially focus on the clinically vulnerable in cohort six because of the relationship between general practice and those with long-term conditions.

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid-19 vaccination

The next stage of the Covid vaccination programme is getting under way across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

Should those aged 65 to 69 prefer to wait for a call from their GP, they do not need to respond to their appointment invitation.

Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has meanwhile urged the next cohorts to "sit tight" and wait to be contacted by the NHS.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus