Suffolk and North Essex in top 5 in UK for second vaccine rollout
- Credit: PA
Latest figures show Suffolk and north Essex are leading the way for the number of people who have had both doses of the Covid vaccine.
However, the rate at which the first dose is being rolled out has slowed - and some in the over-42s category have complained of finding it hard to get local appointments and of being asked to travel to other counties.
The latest vaccination stats released by NHS England show that 28.7% of the population in Suffolk and north Essex aged 16 and over have had both doses of the Covid vaccine, putting the areas in the top five nationally.
Vaccine data released today by NHS England, which covers up to April 25, shows that 538,335 people in the region have now received their first dose.
According to the data for the week commencing April 12, 7,293 people in the region had their first vaccine. The following week a further 10,580 people had their first jab.
There have been reports that some in Suffolk are struggling to book appointments as demand surged after the Government made jabs available to anyone aged 42.
Irene Chandler Burns, from Newmarket, said the nearest place for her to book a jab has been Chesterton or Stevenage.
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The 48-year-old added: "I have tried every day to book something. I have school pick-ups and drop offs at different times and my second dose would fall in the summer holiday and I would have to take the kids with me, so would prefer somewhere we feel comfortable and is not a huge road trip.
"I have not been able to book anything in Newmarket and so will wait to see if something comes up nearby. I am close to the racecourse and it seems madness to have to do a 60-mile round trip when it could be done in five minutes."
The Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System has said that a shortage of the vaccine is the reason why some are finding it difficult to get their jab, but are confident the process is working.
A spokesman for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “Since the beginning of April nationally there has been a limited amount of first dose vaccine, with the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health highlighting the ‘lumpy’ supply of vaccine to the UK.
“According to NHS England the vaccine supply will gradually increase from week commencing May 10.
“If the vaccination clinic locations available on the national booking system website are not close to where you live, we encourage people to keep checking back. We are committed to ensuring no one gets left behind in the vaccination programme.”
Some specific areas in Suffolk are doing well in rolling out both doses of the vaccine with 33.1% of the population of Babergh and 32.3% of the population of East Suffolk who are 16 and over having two doses.