Vaccines roll-out to move on to over 70s
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Over-70s across Norfolk and Suffolk will get their chance to be vaccinated against Covid-19 from Monday as the NHS begins its roll out to the next two priority groups on the list.
So far, other than frontline workers like NHS and social care staff and care home residents, only those aged 80 or over have been invited to have their jabs.
But now those aged between 70 and 79 will also be able to get vaccinated where capacity allows, though the Department for Health and Social Care said the remaining people from the original two groups would still be the priority.
Those who are deemed to be extremely clinically vulnerable to the virus will also be invited to receive their vaccine from this week.
The news comes after it was announced that Norfolk's first mass vaccination centre would open in Norwich from Monday, situated in the food court at the Castle Quarter shopping centre.
Prime minister Boris Johnson described the news as "a significant milestone in our vaccination programme".
He said: "We are now delivering the vaccine at a rate of 140 jabs a minute and I want to thank everyone involved in this national effort.
"We have a long way to go and there will doubtless be challenges ahead – but by working together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus."
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: "Now that more than half of all over-80s have had their jab, we can begin vaccinating the next most vulnerable groups. Where an area has already reached the vast majority of groups 1-2, they can now start opening up the programme to groups 3-4.
"We are working day and night to make sure everyone who is 70 and over, our health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable are offered the vaccine by the middle of February and our NHS heroes are making huge strides in making this happen."
Vaccines will be administered by appointment only. People are being asked not to get in touch with their hospital or GP to arrange an appointment, nor to turn up unexpectedly at a vaccination site.