Q&A: How is the Covid vaccine rollout going in Norfolk and Waveney?

Derek Downs was given his first Covid-19 vaccination at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn. Picture: I

A Covid jab being administered at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

Almost five months after the world's first coronavirus vaccine was administered here in the UK, more than 50 million doses have been given out across the country.

Since December, hundreds of thousands of sleeves have been rolled up in Norfolk and Waveney, and a significant proportion of its most vulnerable and elderly residents are fully vaccinated. 

Audrey Burton, 97, receiving her COVID-19 vaccination at the Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in No

A Covid jab is administered at the large-scale vaccination centre in Castle Quarter, Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

But just how well is the area's rollout going and when can you expect to receive your vaccine?

Here are all the key questions answered. 

How many people have received jabs so far?

Fresh figures published on Thursday (May 6) revealed a total of 595,101 people in Norfolk and Waveney have received their first jabs since the programme began. 

That is 69.9pc of the area's overall adult population. 

When it comes to second doses, 299,624 patients have attended follow-up appointments thus far, which is more a third (35.2pc) of all over-16s. 

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Across the UK, 35 million first doses and 16.3 million second injections have been administered according to the latest government data.

How does Norfolk and Waveney compare to other parts of the country?

Favourably. 

The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn is now being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Picture: Ian Bu

People queuing for Covid jabs at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

Norfolk and Waveney seems to be moving an impressive pace compared to the rest of the nation. 

Of all 43 health systems across the nation, only Somerset has a better vaccination rate (37.2pc) for both doses.

Across England as a whole, 28pc of adults are fully vaccinated. 

Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership's first dose vaccination rate remains the fifth-best in the country, with Dorset topping the pile on 72.1pc. 

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

A coronavirus vaccine being prepared at Connaught Hall in Attleborough - Credit: Danielle Booden

The overall first dose percentage for England in its entirety is 63pc.

Have there been any teething problems? 

Absolutely, but clearly they are to be expected with a vaccination programme of this magnitude. 

In the early stages of the rollout, concerns were widespread in parts of Norfolk and Waveney where jabs were not being given out locally

The Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

The large-scale Covid vaccination centre at Castle Quarter in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

It meant some having to travel further afield, not always an easy task for elderly or vulnerable members of the population.

Some care providers also complained of a "postcode lottery" when organising injections for residents. 

Both issues were ironed out, however, as more large-scale sites gradually came online and the NHS hit its target to offer all care residents a jab by the end of January.

In February, Norfolk patients faced difficulties booking slots via the national booking system, with locations as far afield as Brighton offered

Beach at Brighton. East Sussex. England. View from pier looking west. Wintertime

Norfolk patients were offered Covid jabs as far afield as Brighton earlier in the year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The same problem reared its head in recent weeks due to the expected reduction in vaccine supply throughout April.

Who can go and get a jab at the moment? 

As it stands, anyone aged 40 and over is eligible to reserve a vaccination appointment via the national booking system

People over the age of 45 began being invited for jabs in mid-April, before the offer was extended to everyone in their 40s last week. 

Moreover, those in any of the original nine priority groups, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), are still being encouraged to get a vaccine if they have not already done so. 

That includes all over-50s, health and social care staff, care home residents, those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable, people with serious underlying health conditions, and all carers whether paid or unpaid.

People aged 16 and over who share a household with someone who has severe immunosuppression can also contact their GP.

Where are vaccines being given out?

Eligible cohorts are being offered jabs at Norfolk's hospitals, as well as primary care hubs, large-scale centres and pharmacies

Firefighters rescued a person whose foot was trapped in an escalator in Market Gates shopping centre

Market Gates shopping centre is Norfolk's latest mass vaccination site - Credit: Archant

The area now has nine large-scale venues after Great Yarmouth's Market Gates Shopping Centre went live last week

Back in January, health bosses revealed they planned to open a total of 13 mass vaccination sites in the ensuing months. 

I'm under the age of 40 - when will I get my jab?

Fear not; your turn will come. 

A large-scale Covid vaccination centre has opened in Harleston

A Covid jab being administered in Harleston - Credit: Sonya Duncan

While it is not yet known specifically when 18 to 39-year-olds will be invited, the government wants to offer all adults a shot by the end of July.

We do, however, know they will not be offered the Oxford/AstraZeneca product after changes to the JCVI guidance were announced on Friday. 

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