It has been an incredible achievement to see vaccines developed at such a pace to tackle this new virus. It is not even a year since the coronavirus started to take hold in the UK. Yet the combination of restrictions, testing and vaccination gives real hope.
I am very pleased that vaccinations are starting in the Dover & Deal constituency this week for the first four priority groups. I have been working hard in recent weeks to ensure that our community gets access to the vaccines and testing we need to tackle the virus.
The site for priority group vaccinations is based at the Dover Medical Centre. This was the best suited site to get up and running quickly, and my thanks to Dr Julian Mead and all those involved from the Total Health Excellence Primary Care Network who have worked incredibly hard to make this happen.
I continue to work with local health providers about additional potential sites and extra capacity.
I do appreciate that the Dover site is not the most convenient for everyone, but I would strongly encourage everyone eligible to take up their vaccination appointment if able to do so, and discuss any concerns with their GPs.
As well as the Dover site, there are two additional vaccination centres already operational – at Aylesham Health Centre and at the William Harvey Hospital – for NHS and care workers. Some priority groups are also being vaccinated at the William Harvey.
Appointment letters for vaccinations are primary care (GP) led and will start to go out in line with vaccine and appointment availability.
This is a worrying time but please be reassured that I am firmly focused on pressing for the health needs of our whole community.