Therese Coffey visits Suffolk vaccination centres

Therese Coffey at Vaccination Centre

Therese Coffey visited the Gainsborough Vaccination Centre in Ipswich. - Credit: DWP

Suffolk Coastal MP and cabinet minister Therese Coffey visited Covid vaccine centres in the Ipswich and Felixstowe areas on Friday as the government prepares to announce that it has met its first vaccination targets.

The government had set itself the target of offering a first jab to everyone over the age of 70 by Sunday, February 15, and this weekend cabinet ministers will be out around the country supporting centres as they near that target.

Work and Pensions Secretary Dr Coffey visited teams at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich, Trinity Park and at the Grove Medical Centre in Felixstowe.

Therese Coffey at Gainsborough

Therese Coffey with officials at the Gainsborough vaccination centre in Ipswich. - Credit: DWP

After her visits she said she was very impressed by the work she had seen and the speed that people were being dealt with - at Felixstowe and Trinity Park staff were mainly dealing with the Pfizer vaccine which has a limited lifespan and were putting patients through very efficiently.

And she was looking forward to other groups, starting with people aged 65 and over, starting to be called for a jab during the next few days.

However she did warn that people should continue to follow the lockdown rules even after they had had a jab: "The government will be talking to the experts and considering all the data before a roadmap to the next phase is announced later this month.

"That isn't likely to have a firm timescale for everything - but it will show how things will change."

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This week many people feel there have been mixed messages from ministers about what will happen with holidays this year - especially UK tourism which is an important industry in Dr Coffey's constituency.

She said: "We will have to wait and see on that. I want to be as optimistic as I can - but I don't want to give false hope before all the facts are analysed and the decisions are made. 

"I'm sorry we cannot be more certain at this stage - but we really will have to wait to see what happens.

"But it is vital that the roll-out of the vaccines continues so well because that gives us the best possible hope of emerging from this."

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