The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney has announced more details on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine with the process beginning with invited individuals over 80 and care home workers to receive the vaccination.
Vaccinations will begin at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the James Paget University Hospitals (JPUH) on 9 December 2020 and will be by appointment only.
The two hospitals are the first sites in Norfolk and Waveney to receive the vaccine. They are among 50 hospitals across the country beginning vaccinations this week in what will be the largest programme of vaccination in the history of the NHS.
James has raised the importance of people in North West Norfolk with the Norfolk and Waveney CCG and he expects further announcements on those plans in the coming days.
Initial supplies of the vaccine are limited and being given to those most at risk from Covid-19 including a small number for at risk frontline NHS staff. The first community vaccination sites will begin operating later in the month.
Since the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine got the green light from regulators last week, health service staff have been working to manage the huge scale logistical challenge of deploying the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible tailored to the particular requirements of the vaccine (it needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used):
- Hospital Hubs: Dozens of NHS trusts will act as hospital hubs where patients and staff can be vaccinated on site. These hubs are where the vaccine can be stored safely. There are 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as vaccine supply increases.
- Local Vaccination Services: To make it as easy as possible for those who are eligible to access a vaccination safely, Local Vaccination Services will also be available. These community and primary care-led services will vary based on local and logistical considerations but will include GP practices, local authority sourced buildings or other local facilities and as vaccine supply increases in the New Year, local pharmacies too.
- Vaccination Centres: The NHS will also establish vaccination centres, where large numbers of people will be able to go and get a jab. The majority will open in the New Year when supply of the vaccine increases.
Individuals over the age of 80 will be contacted by their GP practice, and all people due to be vaccinated will be asked to fill in a health screening questionnaire and consent form. Over the coming months people will be invited to make an appointment when it is their turn to be vaccinated. For this reason, the NHS ask you not to call your GP or hospital, and to please wait for an invitation.
GPs and other primary care staff have been put on standby to start delivering the jab.
Vaccinating all adults will be a marathon not a sprint. In the meantime, the best thing to protect ourselves, our families and our communities is to wash our hands, cover our faces, and make space.