Further to the update of 19th January 2020: Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has provided the following update on the Coronavirus vaccine rollout:
“We continue to make great progress with the vaccine rollout.
“Nationally, record numbers of jabs are being offered every day and a vaccine has been offered to all eligible care home residents. We are also approaching nine million total vaccinations.
“Locally, I know we’ve been left behind, and I have been jumping up and down about it.
“And the good news is that we are catching up. The NHS system has now administered first dose vaccines to 90% of the over 80s, all care home residents where safe to do so, and the majority of frontline health and care staff. They are also making good progress on the over 70s and extremely clinically vulnerable patients.
“Recently, I had a call Dr Ed Garrett, Chief Officer of North East Essex CCG. He said we are coming into line with the rest of the country now and we remain on target to vaccinate the top four priority groups by the middle of this month. Please be assured that everyone will be offered a vaccine in due course.
“This past weekend, I visited the vaccination centre at St Helena's Hospice with my colleague Sir Bernard Jenkin MP (see photo above). We have the Parachute Regiment there delivering vaccines, alongside the NHS. All those I met were really happy with the service and vaccinators are working constantly from 0700 to 2300, at a rate of nearly one jab a minute.
“It is worth noting that the conversion of St Helena’s in such a short space of time has been extraordinary, and, of course, the priority has been to make it Covid secure. Before conversion, the Hospice was carpeted with soft surfaces everywhere. Carpets had to be ripped out and lino tiles put into place, the walls had to painted, and the furniture had to be replaced so that the volunteers could continue to wipe everything down.
“The experience for those receiving the vaccine is: Arrival at tented and heated area, give name and time of appointment. Go through to a waiting area where six desks manned by volunteers take further details on laptops.
“Next, go through to the corridor where there are chairs outside the vaccination booths. Here there is one mixing room where the vaccines are stored. The Pfizer vaccine has to be mixed, but the AstraZeneca vaccine can be delivered straight away.
“The clients then go into the booths, are talked through the process one last time by the vaccinator and they are vaccinated. No one I spoke to said that they felt a thing.
“Then clients leave the booths and either go straight home or, if they are driving or have a medical reason, they are directed to a waiting hall where they are monitored for any reaction. After fifteen minutes there they can go.
“In summary, our vaccine delivery is moving forward and accelerating. This morning, it was also announced that morning that six new large vaccination centres are opening across Essex and Suffolk, including a centre at Clacton Hospital - this will open in the coming days.”