Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke

With the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines now approved for use in the UK, the local vaccination programme for the coronavirus is expected to commence from 11 January 2021.

The NHS expects to have vaccinated all care homes residents and their carers, everybody over the age of 70, all frontline health and social care workers, and everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable by the middle of February.

Rapid turnaround coronavirus tests for those without symptoms is also being rolled out across Kent this week. All symptom free testing sites will be open daily, starting on 7 January. Once all 14 sites are open, there will be capacity for over 13,000 tests across Kent per day. Tests will be available from the Dover Discovery Centre and can be booked online now at

Natalie Elphicke, Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal, said: “I have been pressing for the establishment of vaccination and rapid testing programmes in the area, and I welcome the positive news that both of these crucial tools will be rolled out over the coming days.

“Our area has begun to see a notable reduction in the transmission of the virus, following the decision to place us under Tier 4 restrictions. The testing and vaccination programmes will exert downward pressure on the virus transmission rate, which is expected to maintain the recent progress.

“While the new lockdown presents many fresh challenges, the vaccination and testing programmes provide a clear way ahead. I have been dealing with Ministers and officials at the highest levels to ensure that vaccinations will be delivered to priority groups in our area.

“Widespread vaccination, combined with the new restrictions, provide us with the best chance of bringing the virus under control and beginning a return to our day-to-day lives, safely, as we take the next steps through this pandemic together.”

By Ed

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