So the roll out is finally happening. Whatever you may think of the speed with which these vaccinations have been developed and approved – or concerns about older people being guinea pigs – nevertheless with the new strain cutting swathes through the population and lockdowns having very little effect, it is probably the only way to try and halt the spread of this most virulent of viruses.
Almost 10,000 people have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Suffolk and north Essex so far, but our region has been conspicuous by the vaccines relative absence – especially on the Felixstowe peninsula.
In the whole of Suffolk only six GP surgeries have been administering jabs of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (6000 jabs so far) including two in Ipswich (Ivy St & Two Rivers) and a further 4,000 doses that have been given out by Colchester Hospital over the past few weeks.
This week Ipswich hospital finally solved the problem of a lack of suitable freezers and have started immunising staff and front line workers, but from Monday 11th, with the role out of the Oxford vaccine which does not need deep freeze storage, 13 more centres will go live – including mass immunisation centres at Trinity Park and Gainsborough sports centre and Grove GP Surgery in Felixstowe.
PLEASE NOTE: This doesnt mean that you have to be a patient of Grove Surgery to get the vaccine. They will be administering for (initially) over 80’s whatever practice you belong to. Or you may be directed to one of the mass immunising centres or even Ipswich Hospital.
ALSO NOTE: IT WON’T ALL HAPPEN IMMEDIATLY AND THE WATCHWORD HERE IS ‘BE A PATIENT PATIENT’
The authorities have asked that people wait to be contacted – and do not phone their doctors or GP surgeries for appointments.
Health bosses have moved to reassure people desperate for the jab that their time will come, with a CCG spokesman adding: “We understand people are anxious to find out when they will be vaccinated.
“At the moment, we are only able to vaccinate people who are 80 years old and over.
Please be rest assured, that even if you are 80+ and haven’t received a call from your GP surgery, you will eventually get that call.
“The position is that we still haven’t had enough vaccines to vaccinate everybody in that cohort, so we are having to do it on a priority basis i.e. the older you are, the more likely you are to be called forward first.
“If you have pre-existing medical conditions, that pushes you up the list as well.”
Health bosses say the aim is to reach a point where everybody lives less than a half an hour away from a vaccination centre in Suffolk and North Essex – but they say if you are contacted about having the jab even if you have to travel a little distance – please take the opportunity.
The priority list is as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 – 75 years of age and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 – 70 years of age
- All individuals aged 16 – 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 – 60 years of age
- All those 50 – 55 years of age