Health bosses step up effort to vaccinate vulnerable communities

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

Health officials are stepping up efforts to offer Covid jabs to Norfolk and Waveney's "harder to reach" communities - Credit: Danielle Booden

Officials are stepping up efforts to offer the coronavirus vaccine to vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities across Norfolk and Waveney. 

While fresh data published last week revealed 96pc of over-50s in the area had received initial doses, health bosses are keen to get the figure even closer to 100pc.

A large-scale Covid vaccination centre has opened in Harleston

Health officials are stepping up efforts to offer Covid jabs to Norfolk and Waveney's "harder to reach" communities - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Roving teams have thus far been working with homeless organisations and charities to ensure first and second jabs are made more accessible. 

Moreover, GP surgeries have worked tirelessly to set up 'on the go' clinics to immunise people at hostels and similar settings. 

One such example in recent weeks saw the team at Harleston's drop-in centre team up with homelessness charity, Emmaus, to provide initial jabs for the individuals it supports. 

Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney community builiding at All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham. Photo courtesy o

Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney's base in Ditchingham, near Bungay - Credit: Archant

Jo Andrews, logistics manager at Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney, said: “I can’t thank local NHS teams enough for the help and support they provided to ensure our residents were able to receive a vaccine.

“The drop-in clinics and range of options available are a great example of how health and care organisations are working together to ensure as many people come forward for their vaccination to help protect themselves and others.

“Making contact and agreeing for our vulnerable community to be vaccinated was really easy, and I would encourage anyone or any organisation that supports individuals who are eligible to do the same."

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Norfolk and Waveney CCG, which is leading the local rollout, has said it hopes to access other groups over the coming weeks which are "traditionally hard to reach". 

Tracy Williams, clinical lead for prevention and addressing inequalities at the CCG, said: "We have vaccinated 96pc of over-50s, which is testament to the hard work and determination of teams across the county.

"But we don’t want to stop there. Every individual vaccinated means they and others will help to reduce the number of people becoming seriously ill and help us get back to the things we like to do.

Tracy Williams, of Norwich CCG. Photo: submitted

Tracy Williams, clinical lead for prevention and addressing inequalities at Norfolk and Waveney CCG - Credit: Archant

"Working with homeless accommodation providers, such as Emmaus, is vital and really supports those they care for to take up the offer of a vaccine."

Drop-in clinics for people in priority groups 1-9 continue to take place across Norfolk and Waveney, with no appointment necessary. 

Eligible under-30s should not attend as they are using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. 

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