How many of Norfolk's frontline and key workers have been vaccinated?

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn has administered vaccines to 11,500 people

Thousands of Norfolk-based hospital staff have received Covid vaccines - Credit: QEH

Among older age groups and those deemed clinically vulnerable, the Covid vaccine roll-out appears to be progressing at a promising pace. 

As of midnight on Sunday, 91pc of all over-80s in England had received their first jab, a figure that jumps to 95pc for those aged between 75 and 79.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said hospitals' debt would be written off. Picture: Pippa Fowles/Crown

Health secretary Matt Hancock has urged everyone over 70 to arrange Covid jabs - Credit: PA

And, during a Downing Street press briefing on Monday, health secretary Matt Hancock urged over-70s yet to be given an appointment to contact the NHS and arrange one. 

In the East of England, more than 25pc of the region's entire population had received a single shot by Tuesday, with 1.1pc fully inoculated against the virus. 

Overall, one in four adults in England have had a vaccine, with more than 13 million doses administered in the first two months of the programme. 

The government's target is to offer initial shots to everyone in the top four priority groups - including frontline health and care workers - by Monday, February 15. 

But just how well is the roll-out advancing among Norfolk and Waveney's frontline and key workers?

We've taken a look at a number of different sectors and professions to see how things are going.

Police conducting coronavirus lockdown patrols in Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police have not yet been added to the vaccine priority list - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Hospital workers 

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The majority of staff members at Norfolk's three main hospitals are being inoculated at their own places of work.

Vulnerable and elderly patients are still being prioritised, but the Norfolk and Norwich (NNUH), James Paget (JPUH) and Queen Elizabeth (QEH) are making time to protect their own. 

As of February 3, NNUH - the county's largest hospital - had given out 10,000 jabs to its staff, making up more than 98pc of the workforce.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has given 10,000 vaccines to staff - Credit: Nick Butcher

Providing a more recent update, the QEH said on Tuesday that 3,658 of its workers had received initial doses - 97pc of its permanent staff.

Data for JPUH has not been publicised since the hospital's board meeting on January 28, when it was revealed 90pc of the workforce had been administered a vaccine. 

Nevertheless, results from a nationwide survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), published on Tuesday, have shown tens of thousands of nurses across the UK have still not had their first shot.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn has administered vaccines to 11,500 people

A hospital worker receiving her Covid vaccine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn - Credit: QEH

Around 15pc of 24,370 nurses surveyed had not received a jab which, when converted to match the RCN's 450,000-strong membership, equates to about 75,000. 

Paramedics and ambulance staff

Paramedics and other staff working for the ambulance service are among the frontline health workers being prioritised for the vaccine. 

The East of England Ambulance service board met for the first time since the CQC report. Photo: EEAS

Paramedics and ambulance staff are being prioritised for the Covid vaccine - Credit: EEAST

Specific data for the East of England Ambulance Service is not currently published, but it is thought around 75pc of its paramedics have received initial doses. 

NHS England says more accurate figures for ambulance trusts may become available in the coming months.

Carers

Frontline care workers are included in the top four priority groups for vaccination. 

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

Tens of thousands of coronavirus vaccines have been administered across Norfolk and Waveney - Credit: Danielle Booden

Norfolk and Waveney CCG - which has been overseeing the local roll-out - successfully met its target to offer jabs to all care homes by January 24, which included staff.

First doses of the vaccine have been delivered at all of the area's care homes where it is safe to do so (95pc).

The remainder have suffered recent Covid outbreaks and will be revisited in the coming weeks. 

It is not clear what percentage of residential staff have accepted jabs, but care providers Kingsley Healthcare and Armscare said a small proportion had declined. 

Raj Sehgal, owner and managing director of Arms Care Picture: Docking House

Raj Sehgal, managing director at ArmsCare, said a small proportion of his workforce had declined Covid vaccines - Credit: Docking House

Work is ongoing to ensure everyone working in the social care sector - both public and private - has been inoculated, but questions have been raised over the potential neglect of independent and unpaid carers

The CCG has, however, unveiled a taskforce which is working with councils, charities and voluntary groups to identify everyone in a care role. 

They will be vaccinated alongside priority groups five and six (65+ and 16 to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions).

Police

There have been repeated calls for police to be added to the vaccination priority list but, thus far, no official changes have been made. 

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk police, wants officers prioritised for a Covid vaccine after the elderly and vulnerable - Credit: Steve Adams

The latest in Norfolk came from police chief Simon Bailey earlier this week, after a man claiming to be Covid-positive spat in the face of an officer.

Mr Bailey said his colleagues should be prioritised after the elderly and vulnerable, while Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation, added that officers "deserved better". 

But the health secretary has emphasised priorities are not due to be reassessed until after the initial nine groups are vaccinated.

PC Sam Smerdon, a beat manager for Norwich East Police, and Sgt Chris Clay, area sergeant for Norwic

Police are not yet on the Covid vaccine priority list - Credit: Danielle Booden

The government's revised target for achieving that is by May. 

As has been the case across the country, a small number of Norfolk officers have been called into surgeries for jabs so as to prevent doses from going to waste at the end of each day.

Teachers

Demands for teachers to be vaccinated have also been widespread.

George Freeman MP has released a statement following last week's free school meal vote. Picture: Ian

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, has called for teachers to be vaccinated sooner - Credit: Archant

As it stands, staff in educational settings are not receiving jabs unless they meet age or health-related conditions. 

Schools remain open, but only in a limited capacity for children of key workers and vulnerable children. 

However, it still means teachers and their colleagues are coming face-to-face with dozens of people every day. 

The testing of pupils and staff has been ramped up in recent weeks ahead of a potential wider reopening in March, with secondary schools, colleges and primary schools receiving kits and essential PPE. 

Supermarket and essential retail staff

Another sector whose workers are frequently having to interact with others is retail. 

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

A Covid vaccine is prepared prior to being administered - Credit: Danielle Booden

Those providing an essential service, such as supermarkets, are permitted to stay open - but that often means coming into close contact with hundreds of people in just a few hours. 

As with police and teachers, there is no official indication of them being added to the list in their professional capacity.

Waste collectors 

Hailed the "unsung heroes" of the pandemic, the role of waste collectors has largely stayed the same over the past 12 months - social distancing aside. 

Food waste collection. Picture: ADRIAN JUDD/ARCHANT LIBRARY

There have been called for refuse collectors to receive Covid vaccines sooner - Credit: Archant

Since the vaccination programme began, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has been urging the government to consider adding waste industry staff to the list. 

Thus far, its pleas have seemingly fallen on deaf ears and there is no sign of bin men and women being inoculated anytime soon. 

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