Over the last few days the Dover District Vaccination Centre received its first allocation of priority group general vaccinations and has already vaccinated more than a 1,000 people. Thousands more vaccine doses are on their way this week and over the coming weeks, with the vaccination programme for the first priority groups scheduled not just to be rolled out but to be completed in a matter of a few weeks.
I have been working very hard to ensure urgent delivery of vaccinations across our whole community so I am pleased to see the district centre up and running, which has been set up by the Channel Health Alliance team led by Dr Julian Mead and is backed by local GPs.
All the local residents from around the area that I met at the vaccine centre at the weekend were over the moon to receive their vaccinations. It is entirely understandable that all eligible residents are anxious to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. I would ask for patience over the next couple of weeks now the programme is up and running to enable local health practices to identify and book patients in. Our local GPs are all working hard to identify, check and book in patients. This is a significant health and administrative task, so let’s all support our local GPs to give them the time and space to make sure these vital vaccinations get out. The vaccine is being made available to all parts of the constituency – no area will be left out as the vaccines are rolled out.
Vaccinations for NHS and Care Home staff continue to also be carried out at Aylesham Medical Practice and at The William Harvey hospital. Those who are housebound and care home residents are also being vaccinated as the community programme is rolled out across the area.
I would urge everyone who can attend their vaccination appointment when invited to do so. The Dover District vaccination site can secure substantial numbers of vaccine doses, with arrangements in place to deliver it quickly and safely to the priority groups across our community.
The current restrictions do allow for neighbours and friends to act as volunteer drivers for older people who have a vaccination appointment, although masks, open car windows and other precautions should continue to be in place for those who are helping others travel to their appointment.
The vaccine is nothing short of a life-saving medical miracle. My thanks to Dr Mead and his team, as well as all of our local GPs, for their hard work and support for this vital vaccine programme for our community. As well as supporting them in their work, I am continuing to press hard for an acceleration and expansion of the vaccination programme to ensure that the jabs can be administered as quickly and safely as possible to those who need it most.