Norfolk's vaccine roll-out 'going well' as care home delivery gathers pace
- Credit: Denise McGriff
Delivery of the coronavirus vaccine at care homes looks set to gather pace after bosses, residents and their family members reported "frustrating" delays to the process.
And Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk, said the roll-out was "going well" in the county.
Concern surrounding the safety of care home residents has been growing in recent days, with some care providers claiming to have been left in the dark over when vaccine doses will arrive.
But now commissioning groups across the nation have been told everyone in care settings should be vaccinated by January 24 "at the latest", where possible.
A letter written by NHS England's primary care directors says wide availability of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine means smaller care homes can be vaccinated "immediately".
Paul Hanley, manager at Feltwell Lodge, says all residents were vaccinated on Tuesday (January 12), but only after a lengthy period of uncertainty.
"There was a point when I contacted relatives letting them know I was having great difficulty," said Mr Hanley, 66.
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"What happens is, you get these political speeches, but then three weeks go by without anything happening.
"All I wanted to do was get things moving because this variant is awful and once it gets into care homes it is bad news."
Denise McGriff, whose mother lives at Feltwell Lodge, said the development was a huge relief.
"It is a big relief to know she has got her first jab, especially with it spreading even more," said Mrs McGriff, who lives in Brandon.
"It has been a frustrating time but I imagine a lot of people are in the same position."
While the vaccination programme is being overseen by Norfolk and Waveney CCG, Dr Smith said on Thursday she took a "keen interest" in proceedings.
She added: "We are working very closely with our colleagues in the NHS, who are working really hard to roll out the vaccination.
"There are no concerns or worries from us here in Norfolk about vaccine roll-out. Things are going well.
"New sites are starting up and the uptake from people has been really good. If you are invited to have your vaccination, please accept the appointment because it is our best way to protect you from Covid."