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Vaccinations continue at pace across Norfolk and Waveney as regulators reassure people on vaccine safety

66% of people aged over 16 in Norfolk and Waveney have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, newly released figures show.

The news comes as health leaders reassure patients that the risk of any serious side effects is incredibly rare and urge anyone eligible who has not yet received their first dose of vaccine to come forward to be vaccinated.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We know some people may be concerned by things they have seen in the news over the last few days related to very rare side effects. I would like to emphasise that the UK medicines regulator has said benefits of the AZ vaccine continue to outweigh any risks - the risk of mortality from Covid is much greater than the risk of mortality from these side effects."

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that people over 50 years of age or with underlying medical conditions should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines and have their second dose with the same vaccine as the first. Having the second dose is known to give higher and longer-lasting protection against serious coronavirus-related illness.

Added Dr Dhesi: “It is vital we keep the vaccination programme going at pace as society opens up, in order to help stave off rising infection rates. As a country and a county, we need a critical mass of people to have both doses of the vaccine in order to have the level of protection across society that will help us get offices, shops, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers open as planned.”

The NHS vaccination programme continues to make strong progress in Norfolk and Waveney. According to data published today by NHS England and NHS Improvement 653,273 doses of vaccine have been given in Norfolk and Waveney. Some 564,212 people have received their first dose and 89,061 their second dose.

In the week to last Sunday, 44,268 doses of vaccine were given in Norfolk and Waveney, 8,995 were first doses and 35,273 were second doses. 50% of over 80s have had their second dose.

The figures show that 66% of people aged over 16 in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first dose, compared to 59% of adults in England. This puts us fourth out of the 42 health and care systems in England.

96% of over 50s in Norfolk and Waveney have now received their first dose of vaccine, and more opportunities are available to those that haven’t yet had theirs.

Whilst 66% of people aged over 16 in Norfolk and Waveney have already received the vaccine, it is vital that those who are eligible for a vaccine and have not already booked an appointment are reminded and encouraged to do so.

If patients have an appointment already booked over the coming weeks, it is important those appointments are kept and attended rather than a drop-in appointment being selected as a substitute.

Second doses

If you had your first vaccination at a GP led site or Hospital Hub, they will contact you when it is time for your second dose and we strongly encourage everyone who is due to have their second dose to attend their appointment.

If you have booked your vaccinations via the national booking system, you should already have your second dose appointment booked.

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