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Vaccination bus provides 1000th vaccination, reaching more people with lifesaving jab

The vaccination bus launched by NHS Norfolk and Waveney  ClinicalCommissioning Group (CCG) in April provided its 1000th vaccine this week at a pop-up clinic held on the University of East Anglia UEA campus.

Vaccinations were provided at the UEA to students, staff and members of the public, with more than three hundred people vaccinated over two days.

The roving vaccination team have been hopping on the bus since April, visiting specially chosen sites across Norfolk and Waveney; vaccinating people in areas where vaccine uptake has been lower than average or where virus transmission rates remain high. 

Community venues, places of worship, large food production facilities and schools are just some of the places that have benefitted from convenient, on-site access to vaccinations.  The areas of Earlham and Mile Cross in Norwich will join that list as the vaccination team visit Cadge Road Community centre and the Norman Centre this weekend.

The on-board community vaccination team – including immunisers and support staff - is being provided by Norfolk Community Health Care NHS Trust. As well as making access to a vaccine easier and more convenient, their clinicians will take time to answer questions and address any concerns or hesitancy on board the bus.

Tracy Williams, a Queen’s Nurse and NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG Clinical Governing Body member, said: “The response to the bus has been fantastic.  We can park ourselves at the heart of communities and provide a relaxed, informal vaccination service for those who may not want to go to a hospital or large vaccination centre.  The conversations we are having with people are fascinating.  There is so much misinformation about the vaccines and having time to talk to people in an environment they are familiar with means we can answer questions and alleviate their fears.  

“The vaccine bus isn’t about vaccinating huge numbers quickly, it’s about reaching people who may not have had a vaccine if we hadn’t parked up and engaged with them within their own community.  We know that we need to tailor the vaccination programme service to specific patient groups so everyone has the opportunity to get the jab – this is the opposite of one size fits all! 

“We are constantly learning and adapting so we can shape the service to meet local needs - including providing a supportive service to people with hesitancy, anxiety and those find it difficult to get to a large vaccination site.  So many people have told us that they wouldn’t have had this life saving jab if the bus hadn’t pulled up on their doorstep.” 

Norfolk and Waveney continues to make excellent progress with its COVID-19 vaccination programme. The latest data revels that 91% of people over the age of 18 have had their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 72% of this group having had their second dose.

According to data published today by NHS England and NHS Improvement  Norfolk and Waveney continues to make good progress vaccinating younger people with 70% of 18-24 year olds; 75% of 25-29 year olds and 83% of 30-34 year olds having received their first dose. A total of 1,355,120 doses have now been given in Norfolk and Waveney.

Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19.  The vaccine has been tested by scientists and researchers world-wide and every vaccine has gone through thorough checks.

Increased numbers of bookable appointments and walk-in slots are currently available to meet the demand from younger people. The walk-in clinics provide a good spread of locations and options with local pharmacy sites also increasing the number of bookable appointments available closer to home.

A new web portal has been developed with our partners at Norfolk County Council which provides a quick and easy tool for people to find out where walk-in vaccine appointments are taking place across Norfolk and Waveney. For a list of the latest clinics visit https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn

All adults can also book via the national booking service which can be found here nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119. Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

If you have attended a walk-in or pop-in session and already had an appointment booked via the national booking service (NBS), please remember to cancel it by going online or by calling 119. People wishing to rebook their second appointment are able to check availability via the NBS before cancelling and rescheduling their existing second dose appointment. 

If you receive an invitation, whether for your first or second dose, please do act on it as soon as possible. The NBS is open to everyone aged 18 and over who is registered with a GP in England. You do not have to be registered with a GP or have a NHS number to be vaccinated, but it is not yet possible to book an appointment via the NBS without one. For those not registered with a GP or without an NHS number, a growing number of walk-in and pop-up sites are available. Anyone in the UK can choose to register with a GP.

If you have it, please take with you your NHS number to help the vaccination team book you in quickly (please see here).   But don’t worry if you don’t have an NHS number or are not registered with a GP / local doctor, you can still get vaccinated. 

You do NOT need to show identification (ID) to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and you do not need to give your full name or address.  It does not matter whether you are a UK citizen or what your immigration status is, how long you have been here or how long you expect to stay. 

Anyone aged 18+ can have a vaccination, we want to vaccinate as many people as we can and we want to make getting a vaccine as easy as possible for you.

Before your vaccination:  Don't forget to keep hydrated (bring some bottled water with you) and have something to eat before you come!

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Face coverings

Patients in Norfolk and Waveney will still be required to wear face coverings in GP practices and other healthcare settings when COVID-19 restrictions ease on Monday 19 July.

NHS guidance in healthcare settings has not changed, and patients who are not exempt from wearing a face covering should continue to wear one, follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidance. If patients are exempt from wearing a mask, a face shield may be offered as an alternative.

COVID-19 infection rates are rising which means its vitally important we don’t let our guard down against the virus. The virus has not gone away and wearing a face covering is an effective way of reducing transmission. It’s also really important that anyone who is eligible for a vaccine and hasn’t yet come forward does so without delay.

Second doses

Second dosing intervals: given the increase in cases of the Delta variant, giving people the best possible protection from Covid-19 is vital. Evidence, based on real-world data, suggests a better immune response when doses are given at least 8 weeks apart; please wait until you have reached your 8 week point before accessing a walk-in clinic. Alternatively, patients can bring their appointment forward via the national booking system to 8 weeks if the original booking goes after this point.

COVID-19 vaccination status

People in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine are able to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. People can prove their vaccination status: 

 

More information about the vaccination programme can be found here: https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccination-programme   

 

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