The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney has begun inviting care home workers and members of the public who are 80 and over to attend appointments to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
We now have a vaccine that has been confirmed as safe and effective by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and vaccinations started earlier today, Wednesday 9 December, at the James Paget University Hospital and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Vaccination will be by appointment only.
Our hospital and the Norfolk & Norwich are the first sites in Norfolk and Waveney to receive the vaccine and we are among hospitals across the country beginning vaccinations this week.
The first person to receive the vaccine this morning at the James Paget University Hospital was 41-year-old Karen Brown, head of house-keeping at Ritson Lodge care home in Hopton (pictured). She said afterwards: “I am normally petrified of needles but I didn’t feel a thing! Hopefully this is the beginning of normality now. I just want people to smile again.”
Following Karen was Hannah Fulcher, 22, who works as a trainee deputy manager at the Beeches Care Home in East Harling. She said that she was receiving the vaccine for the residents at the home – to give them hope. “They haven’t been able to see family, they cannot hug – it’s getting towards Christmas now and we just want them to be happy. I will be able to go back and say ‘we are getting somewhere now.’
Elizabeth Claxton, 48, a carer based at the Gables residential home in Gorleston, said that by getting her vaccine done, she hoped to send a strong message. “The pandemic has been so detrimental to so many people – not being able to see friends, family. I just want to get across to people that getting vaccinated is something you need to do.”
And for 82-year-old Joseph McNicholas, from Great Yarmouth, being among the first in the area to receive the vaccine was an early birthday present; he’s 83 in a week’s time. “I wanted to be one of the first in the queue for the vaccine,” he said.
Administering the first vaccines at the hospital were Samantha Blowers, Michelle Eichhorn and Siji Dileep, with Siji giving the first vaccination to Karen. “I am proud to be part of this big vaccination programme and thank you for being my first patient,” said Siji.
This the latest world first for the NHS – joining IVF, hip replacements, robotic surgery, gene therapies, CT scans and other pioneering developments.
While we are moving quickly, this will be a marathon, not a sprint. The Pfizer vaccine is safe and highly effective, but it is complex to move, store and prepare.
That’s why initially it will be given in hospitals, before being carefully rolled out to local vaccination services run by GPs, pharmacists and practice nurses, and in people’s homes and care homes if they can’t come to us.
We will be contacting more and more people over the coming days and weeks, as well as protecting those of our staff who are at greatest risk.
You also have an important part to play to help us deliver this effectively to those who need it most. Our message is:
- please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
- when we do contact you, please act immediately, and attend your booked appointments;
- and please continue to follow all the guidance – hand hygiene and social distancing in particular - to control the virus and save lives.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme has been planned extensively by the NHS so it can be rolled out as quickly and safely as possible. This programme of vaccination is the largest in the history of the NHS.
Over the coming months people will be invited when it’s their turn to be vaccinated. Please do not ask your GP or hospital, please wait for your invitation.
Covid-19 vaccination will be delivered as per the below (please click on the image for an easier-to-read version);