Vaccination sites to remain open over weekend despite snowfall
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Coronavirus vaccination sites across Norfolk and Waveney are set to remain open despite significant snowfall being forecast over the weekend.
Patients with appointments over the next few days are being urged to travel for jabs and leave extra journey time if necessary, but not to arrive more than 10 minutes beforehand.
There are fears the inclement weather could lead to long queues of elderly patients in freezing conditions.
However, preparations are well under way to ensure pavements and car parks are gritted at vaccine centres in the area.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, GP at Staithe Surgery in Stalham, and chairman of Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are doing everything possible to prepare for everything the weather throws at us over the next few days.
"Our staff and volunteers are going above and beyond to make sure people are safe, can stay warm and get their vaccinations as planned.
“While we appreciate you may have to set off from home early due to the snow, please try to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible.
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"If patients arrive too early it can cause long queues in the cold. Given the weather conditions that are forecast we want to ensure people stay warm and well while attending their appointments."
In addition to not arriving too early, the CCG has issued the following advice:
- If you arrive early for your appointment, please wait in your car. Bring a blanket, hot drink and a book or newspaper to make your wait more comfortable.
- Wrap up warm. Lots of thin layers are recommended as well as a warm winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf. A short-sleeve base layer will make it easier to administer the vaccine in the upper arm.
- If you are unable to attend your appointment safely, contact your vaccination site to let them know if you can. If you cannot attend or get through to cancel, please do not worry. The NHS will contact you to re-book your appointment in the coming days.
While encouraging patients to attend appointments, the CCG is encouraging the public to keep track of the latest updates.
If extreme conditions make running vaccination centres unsafe, the CCG will use its website, social media and the local media to inform people of closures or disruption.