Almost quarter of people in Norfolk and Waveney have now had Covid vaccine

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

Alan Muse, from Diss, receiving his COVID-19 vaccination at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hall in Attleborough. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Just under a quarter of people in Norfolk and Waveney have now had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as the rollout starts to work down the age groups.

Latest figures released on Thursday showed more than 80pc of those aged 75 to 79 in the region have had the jab and a third of 70 to 74 year olds. Those two age groups were in the third and fourth priority groups for the vaccine, showing that progress is going well.

Another 63,500 people under 70 have also been vaccinated - that includes frontline health and care staff and vulnerable adults.

In total, almost 200,000 first and second doses have now been administered in Norfolk and Waveney, meaning 22pc of the population have had a dose.

That puts the region among the top three areas in the country for the percentage of people jabbed. In Suffolk and North Essex almost 20pc of people have also had their first jab. 

Alex Stewart, from patient group Healthwatch Norfolk, hailed the figures as "impressive".

"We've heard nothing but praise for staff about the way the rollout has been handled," he said. 

Local NHS bosses also said on Thursday they had met their target of offering a first dose to all over 80s in Norfolk and Waveney by the end of January - but that does not mean that everyone had the vaccine.

NHS figures showed 91pc of over 80s have been vaccinated as some chose not to get the jab, while others did not show up to an appointment or did not respond to the invite. However, that is still the highest figure in east England. In Suffolk and north Essex 89pc had been jabbed. 

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The government aims to have everyone in its top four priority groups vaccinated with a first dose by mid-February.

That includes all over 70s, all adults classed as "clinically extremely vulnerable" and all frontline health and care staff. It is on track to meet that target with more than 10 million people now vaccinated.

After that, the programme will move on to the remaining 15m over 50s in the UK and "at risk adults" such as those with severe asthma and the severely overweight.

It takes up to three weeks for the vaccine to give people protection, meaning there is a delay before it starts impacting hospital admissions and case numbers.

But Norfolk's director of public health, Dr Louise Smith said she was "hopeful" that the roll-out would now lead to a reduction in the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital.

The government is leaving a delay of up to 12 weeks between the first and second dose as it prioritises getting an initial jab to as many people as possible. By the end of January, 11pc of over 80s in Norfolk and Waveney had received their second dose. 


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