Norfolk and Waveney COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to make sure no one is left behind
A key focus of the COVID-19 vaccination programme across Norfolk and Waveney is to make it easy for people to get vaccinated and to ensure no one is left behind. Reaching out to some of our more vulnerable communities continues to be a vital part of the programme.
Roving vaccination teams have been working with homeless charities and organisations across the county to ensure individuals who are homeless are offered and receive their first and second doses. GP practices have worked tirelessly across Norfolk and Waveney to set up clinics ‘on the go’ to vaccinate individuals at hostels and other settings.
More recently, the COVID-19 vaccination programme team at a Harleston drop-in clinic worked with Emmaus in Norfolk and Waveney to provide first doses of the vaccination for formerly homeless individuals, also known as companions, that they work with. This is an example of how local health and care organisations, charities, third sector organisations, community and faith groups are working together to ensure some of our more traditionally hard to reach individuals have access to a vaccination.
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 COVID-19 vaccination.
“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 support individuals who are currently eligible for a vaccination to make contact so more people that may find it more difficult to access vaccination clinics can be vaccinated.”
Tracy Williams, Advanced Nurse Practitioner & Clinical Lead for Prevention & Addressing Inequalities, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am delighted that Jo made contact with us and arranged for Emmaus residents to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
“We have now vaccinated more than 96% of people over the age of 50 across Norfolk and Waveney which is testament to the hard work and determination of vaccination 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 to try and get back to the things we like to do.
“Working with our homeless accommodation providers, such as Emmaus, is vital and really supports those they care for to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination. So I encourage all organisations across Norfolk and Waveney that are supporting our homeless communities to make contact with us and to help individuals that often find it challenging to access health care services to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.”
Bruce Luter, Assistant Director of Business Development and Strategy, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “I am pleased our team at Harleston were able to vaccinate this important group of people.
“This is a great example of how local NHS vaccination teams are doing all they can to vaccinate eligible individuals, as part of our drive to beat the virus.
“Drop-in clinics are just one of the ways in which people can receive a vaccination, so if you haven’t yet had your first dose, please do come forward.”
A number of drop-in clinics continue to take place across Norfolk and Waveney, no appointment is needed. Drop-in clinics are for first doses only and for people in priority groups 1-9, which includes:
- Anyone aged 50+
- Individuals who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
- Those aged 16+ who share a household with someone who has severe immunosuppression
- Health and social care staff
- Care home workers and residents
- Carers (paid and unpaid)
A form of evidence that shows you are in one of the eligible cohorts will be required, such as passport, driving licence or a letter from the NHS.
Please note that even if you are in priority groups 1-9, but under the age of 30, you cannot attend the walk-in clinics. This is due to the current type of vaccine available and changes to national guidance.
The walk-in clinics are at:
- King’s Lynn, The Inspire Centre at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, PE30 4ES, Tuesday 13 April 9am to 2pm, no appointment necessary
- Downham Market Town Hall, Bridge Street, Downham Market, PE38 9DW, Monday 12 April, Thursday 15 April and Sunday 18 April 9 am to 2 pm - no appointment necessary
- Harleston, Old Paddock Road surgery, IP20 9AT Friday 16 April, 8.30 to 3pm
- Lowestoft, The Old Law Courts, Old Nelson Street, NR32 1HJ Wednesday 14 April, 8:30am to 3pm - no appointment necessary
Alternatively, people in cohorts 1-9 can continue to book their first vaccine appointments at large scale vaccination centres across the county via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by ringing 119 free of charge.
Paid and unpaid carers should book via the NCC website at https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/carervax – a 24/7 telephone voicemail service 01603 257 256 is also available but is only intended for people who are unable to register online.
Over the last few weeks and months, vaccination teams have been revisiting cohorts 1-9 to try new, innovative and versatile ways to encourage the last remaining patients to come forward and have their vaccine, to protect themselves and others around them.
Drop-in clinics, clinics open later in the day and into the evening, new pharmacies coming on stream and a roving bus that is about to hit the roads are just some of the ways in which the vaccination programme is diversifying how and where people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.