'We will contact you' - plea as more Covid vaccines set to arrive in new year

A patient receives a coronavirus vaccine dose at Two Rivers Medical Centre in Ipswich

Vaccines are set to arrive at doctors' surgeries in the new year - Credit: Archant

Doctors' surgeries in Suffolk and north Essex are set to resume the Covid vaccination programme next week -  but health bosses have issued a plea for patience ahead of the next phase of the rollout.

Several surgeries across the region began administering their first jabs from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 15 before the scheme was paused for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for Suffolk and north Essex, which have been overseeing the rollout, have confirmed no more doses will be administered in the region before the end of the year.

However, a spokesman for the CCGs urged people to wait patiently for their turn to receive the vaccine as surgery staff contact those most at risk from serious illness related to Covid-19.

The spokesman said: "The first primary care networks have finished dispensing their first doses of the vaccine in Suffolk.

"We are currently not expecting to get any more vaccine doses until the new year.

"As soon as the surgeries receive the vaccine, we will be contacting patients.

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"If you do not hear from us, please do not worry - we will contact you."

The patients who received their first dose before Christmas will be  asked to return early in the new year to receive their second jab in order to benefit from its full effectiveness.

Further surgeries will also start to rollout the vaccine in coming weeks, and it is understood that the NHS will use the Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich as one of the sites to deliver the jab.

However, it has not yet been confirmed which surgeries will be selected to receive the vaccine in the next wave.

The news comes as another vaccine, developed in conjunction by Oxford University and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, has been submitted to the UK's medicines regulator, the MHRA.

National media reports claim the vaccine could be given approval within days ahead of a national rollout on January 4.

Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which needs to be stored at -70C, the Oxford/AstraZeneca doses can be stored in a regular fridge - meaning it will be easier to transport across the country.