17 coronavirus vaccination centres to be set up in Suffolk and north Essex
A total of 17 coronavirus vaccination sites will be set up across Suffolk and north Essex, it has been announced.
The vaccinations will be given out either at so-called “mass vaccination centres”, via mobile centres, or via a roving service for housebound patients.
Local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been tasked to get the first site up and running by December 1, so vaccinations can be given as soon as they are licensed.
The first of these sites, and the only one confirmed so far, is Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich.
Lisa Nobes, chief nursing officer for Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and West Suffolk CCG, said the NHS and partner agencies have been working hard to ensure people in Suffolk begin being vaccinated as soon as possible.
Ms Nobes said: “We are getting ourselves into position so as soon as the vaccines are licensed, we are able to start deploying them.
“We have been asked to get the first site running by December 1 and we are on track to do that – that doesn’t mean we will have the vaccines, but we will be in a position to deploy as soon as we can.
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“We are quite a good way into establishing and understanding where those vaccination sites will be, taking particular account of making sure we have them in areas where public transport is an issue and to make sure there is access for all.”
Primary care groups have also been working with the CCGs to ensure they are ready to vaccinate when they get the green light.
The government has yet to confirm who will receive the vaccine first, although Ms Nobes said it is expected vaccinations will start with “our most at-risk groups”.
In total, the East of England as a whole is set to take delivery of 9.8million vaccines.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We recognise that we must all must pull together to help deliver the vaccination programme locally as swiftly and as safely as possible.”