Everything we know so far about Covid vaccinations in Norfolk and Waveney

Charlotte Stokoe, physician associate, checks the sodium chloride before mixing with the Pfizer-BioN

The coronavirus vaccine is being administered across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Denise Bradley

Tens of thousands of people in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first dose of the coronavirus. 

And, in fact, thousands more have already received their second.

The Covid-19 injection at the new vaccination centre at Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The coronavirus vaccine is being administered across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

As news of a large-scale centre opening in Norfolk is confirmed, here's the lowdown on everything we know so far about the region's part in the vaccination programme.

Where are vaccines being administered?

Since the roll-out was launched in early December, the region's three main hospitals - the Norfolk and Norwich (NNUH), Queen Elizabeth (QEH) in King's Lynn and James Paget (JPUH) in Gorleston - have all had access to vaccine doses.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Nick Butcher

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital began administering the Covid vaccine in early December - Credit: Nick Butcher

NNUH and JPUH were among the country's first 50 hospitals to administer the jab.

Nine Norfolk and Waveney surgeries also joined the programme in December, before another 12 GP-led sites including a village hall and leisure centre followed suit.

Earlier this week, it was revealed Norfolk would get its first large-scale vaccination centre - confirmed over the weekend as being at Norwich's Castle Quarter shopping centre. 

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. All shops are closed except Boots and Poundland which sell

Norfolk's first large-scale vaccination centre is opening at Castle Quarter in Norwich - Credit: Archant

It opens on Monday in the shopping centre's food court. 

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Will more sites be opening?

Work is being done behind the scenes to ensure additional centres can "go live". 

It is hoped they will plug the gaps which have been highlighted in certain parts of the region. 

Please do not attend a centre without an appointment or call your GP to arrange a jab - you will be contacted

They include south Norfolk, where some patients are being told to drive 45 minutes to Poringland for a jab. 

Moreover, in Waveney, people in the Beccles and Bungay area are being given appointments in Lowestoft and Southwold - a journey of more than half an hour for many. 

Norfolk and Waveney CCG (NWCCG) has pledged another 12 large centres, although their specific locations are not yet known. 

Shoppers returned to Diss town centre as non-essential businesses were permitted to reopen for the f

Patients registered in Diss face a lengthy journey for a coronavirus vaccination - Credit: Archant

They will open from February on a phased basis. 

What should I do if I am concerned about getting to my vaccination appointment?

This evidently remains a worry for the elderly and disabled, especially those who do not drive or live in particularly isolated areas.

NWCCG has previously said: "If you have any difficulties in getting to your appointment, please discuss this with your GP or hospital when you are contacted."

Nurse draws off a single dose from a vial, which can provide 10 individual doses to patients, of the Oxford...

More large-scale vaccination centres are due to open in Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: PA

The government's 'Vaccines Delivery Plan', published last week, says a small number of highly rural areas will be served via mobile teams. 

However, it remains to be seen whether they include parts of Norfolk and Waveney. 

Which vaccines are being rolled out?

Three vaccines have thus far been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK regulator. 

John Game receives his Covid -19 vaccination by pharmacy technician for One Norwich, Marion Ridge, a

Patients are thus far receiving the Pfizer and Oxford coronavirus vaccines - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

This means they have been found to be both safe and effective. 

The first, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, has an efficacy of around 95pc, while Oxford-AstraZeneca's product is closer to 70pc. 

The government has ordered 40 million doses of the former and 100 million of the latter, enough to cover the entire population according to health secretary, Matt Hancock.

The third, produced by Moderna, offered almost 95pc protection from severe coronavirus during trials, but supplies are not expected to arrive in the UK until spring.

One of the vaccination stations at the new vaccination centre at Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Covid vaccination hub at Bowthorpe - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

Who is eligible for a vaccine?

The message from NHS England, public health officials and the CCG is clear: do not attend your local surgery or hospital for a vaccine unless you have been contacted about an appointment.

The same goes for Norwich's new large-scale centre. 

Last month, a number of people arrived at JPUH after reading an inaccurate Facebook post telling people they could simply turn up.

It will take many months to roll out the vaccine, although people most at risk from experiencing complications after contracting Covid-19 are being contacted first. 

Laura Soames, pharmacy technician, vaccinates Ann Rendall, 85, at the new vaccination centre at Bowt

Patients over 80 are being prioritised for Covid vaccines - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

That includes those aged 80 and above, care home residents and frontline health and care workers. 

Once these groups have been vaccinated, there will be a gradual move through older age groups, adults on the NHS shielding list and people under 65 with long-term conditions. 

How many people have been vaccinated so far?

The exact figure for Norfolk and Waveney remains unclear but, on Thursday, it was revealed 42,000 people aged 80 and above in the East of England had received their second dose of the vaccine.

In all, more than 147,000 over-80s in the East have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. 

NHS England does not provide specific figures for Norfolk and Waveney, but what we know for certain is that 30,000 people in the area had received their first dose by January 7. 

That figure made up almost 40pc of people aged 80 and above - around 25,500 out of 65,000. 

On Sunday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said around 45pc of those aged 80 and over across the nation have been vaccinated.

People who have had their injection wait the required 15 minutes before they leave the new vaccinati

Patients wait the required 15 minutes after receiving their coronavirus vaccines at Bowthorpe surgery - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2021

How long will this all take?

The big question as we all strive for a return to normality - or at least something resembling normal life. 

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, health secretary Matt Hancock pledged to offer a vaccine to everyone aged 18 and over by autumn. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: Trevor Adams/Daily

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said all adults will be offered a Covid vaccine by the autumn - Credit: PA

The government's more immediate target is to vaccinate 13 million of society's most vulnerable and key workers by mid-February.

However, Mr Hancock added that it was "highly likely" people would need a an annual Covid jab "for the forseeable". 

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