Norfolk and Waveney is on track to offer a vaccination to priority groups most vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) and to vaccinate all those that come forward for their first dose by next week.
The news comes as it was revealed that 94% of over 80s in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first dose, 97% of 75-79 year olds and 73% of 70-74 year olds.
Data published today by NHS England and NHS Improvement also shows that 249,378 people (29% of total population aged over 16) have received a first dose, ranking Norfolk and Waveney third out of 42 health systems in England. The total number of first doses given in the last week up to Sunday, 7 February, is 61,045.
Health leaders are confident the area will meet the national target of offering a vaccination to the most vulnerable people and vaccinating all those that come forward by 15 February. The top four cohorts include all over 70s, extremely clinically vulnerable people and care home residents and patients.
Melanie Craig, Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said she was pleased with how the historic vaccination programme is going.
“The COVID-19 vaccine programme is going well across Norfolk and Waveney and we are on track to offer a vaccination to the four groups most vulnerable to coronavirus and to vaccinate all those that come forward with their first dose of the vaccine by mid-February.
"The programme continues to evolve with additional vaccine sites planned to open in the coming weeks and months as the vaccine becomes available to more people across Norfolk and Waveney".
She added: “Our NHS staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly to vaccinate those who are most at risk and this week, with the heavy snowfall, our communities have rallied together to support our efforts to tackle this disease.
“It has been a real team effort to keep our vaccination sites open. We would like to thank all those involved and, of course, local patients, many of whom have attended their appointments this week in very cold and difficult conditions.”
Last week, the Government announced new advice for over 70s who had not yet been vaccinated. People who are aged 70 or over, or are in the clinically extremely vulnerable category and have not yet been offered a first dose of the vaccine, can now contact the NHS to get it.
You can do this by booking an appointment online at nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119. If you are aged 80 or over, you can contact your GP practice directly to arrange your first vaccine.
If you are not aged 70 or over, or clinically extremely vulnerable you should continue to wait to be contacted. When it is your turn to be vaccinated, and if you are registered with a GP in Norfolk and Waveney, you will be contacted directly from your practice or an NHS representative.
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.
Norfolk and Waveney is expecting planned deliveries of vaccines for second doses and is urging people to keep their allocated appointments unless there is a clinical reason not to so. This will help to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible and patients get this added protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine so it’s important to continue to follow social distancing guidance and, if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people.
The infection rate continues to fall in Norfolk and Waveney with rates of 203 and 132 respectively for every 100,000 residents in the last recorded 7-day period.