'All down to you' - praise for Norfolk's life-saving vaccine volunteers

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss met with Norfolk and Waveney NHS staff, praising them for their vaccine efforts.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss met with Norfolk and Waveney NHS staff, praising them for their vaccine efforts. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk cabinet minister has thanked the county's vaccine volunteers for their role in saving people's lives.

In a virtual meeting, international trade secretary Liz Truss, the South West Norfolk MP, met with volunteers supporting Norfolk and Waveney NHS to thank them for their contribution to the vaccine rollout.

Helen Lloyd, vaccination lead nurse at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: "I'm very proud to be a part of an amazing team of administrators, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and volunteers, everybody has come together to make this such a success."

Latest NHS figures show there were 45 people with Covid-19 occupying beds at Norfolk and Norwich Uni

Latest NHS figures show there were 45 people with Covid-19 occupying beds at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on November 17. Picture: Archant - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Ms Truss heard the public and staff had been "in awe" at the vaccination rollout, with staff and volunteers stepping up to the challenge.

"I remember looking at the vials and thinking 'oh my goodness, this is it','" said Dr April Brown, chief nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn.

"Many people, because we were vaccinating the over 80s at that point, hadn't been out of the house for months. It was quite overwhelming for some people." 

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

Vaccine administered at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn - Credit: QEH

However, Ms Brown said not everyone has responded positively to the vaccine.

Ms Brown said the media had done its part to encourage people and now they needed to personally reach out to people and networks to ensure all communities were vaccinated.

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Ms Truss praised the staff, saying she did not think something like this would have been possible a year ago.

"It's down to you and your teams and all your hard work. It's really, really appreciated."

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South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss - Credit: Matthew Usher

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Truss said: "This has been an extraordinary collective effort by the NHS and the armed forces and is yielding exceptional results.

“Today I’m encouraging everyone eligible for a jab to come forward if they haven’t yet had their vaccine so that we can reach the remaining people in these priority groups.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this effort as we continue to expand our vaccination programme - the biggest in this country’s history.”

To date, more than 15 million people in the UK have had their first dose of a vaccine.

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