Local area sees biggest COVID vaccination take-up in the country

The Suffolk and north east Essex area is outperforming every other area in England for its delivery of the autumn COVID booster vaccination programme.

Latest figures published (Monday October 10) for the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) area show that 165,000 vaccines have been administered since the programme launch in September, more than any other ICB area in the country, with almost 25,000 vaccinations given to eligible people in the last week alone.

This remarkable speed of vaccination take-up has been achieved by making it as easy as possible for people to get protected through a variety of booked and walk-in appointments at venues across the area, as well as through the incredible efforts and support of staff and volunteers, who deserve a huge “thank you” for all their great work.

Lisa Nobes, the ICB’s Director of Nursing, says: “The very real risks presented by COVID are obviously still at the forefront of people’s minds, with so many taking up the offer of protection for over the coming winter months.

“We’re in a critical time for the NHS with ever-increasing COVID numbers both in our communities and hospital admissions, as well as the ongoing effects of Long-COVID, so it is certainly encouraging that so many people have taken action to best protect their health.

“It’s wholly understandable that some people are simply fed-up with COVID, with the country having endured an incredibly challenging two years. To those people I say, please don’t give up now. Your NHS and your community needs you to do your bit and prevent the spread of COVID by getting your vaccination when it’s your turn.”

On the www.sneevaccine.org.uk website there are currently more than 50 dates for pop-up clinics listed in the coming weeks. Everyone attending a walk-in clinic is reminded that there may be a wait involved, depending on how busy the clinic is, and to dress according to the weather. Booked appointments can be made on the NHS website

The autumn COVID booster is currently available for those aged 65+, frontline health and social care workers, carers, people who are in a clinical risk group, pregnant women and those who have or live with someone with a weakened immune system. 

Over the coming months and in line with national guidance those aged 50+ will be able to receive the autumn booster, and people in this younger age group are asked to wait until their eligibility is announced. Older people and those in higher risk categories are being vaccinated first as they are more likely to be at risk of serious illness.

There is a local COVID vaccination helpline on 0344 257 3961 – anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call to speak to a trusted advisor.