Natalie Elphicke MP with Rotary Club volunteers
Dover & Deal MP Natalie Elphicke hails the opening of the Dover District Vaccination Centre as the first general vaccinations go out, with the priority groups set to be completed within weeks.
The first vaccination delivery has been received and the vaccination programme is underway at the Dover District Vaccination Centre for the priority groups across Dover and Deal. In only its first weekend of operation the Dover District Vaccination Centre has already vaccinated more than 1,000 people – with thousands more vaccine doses on their way. Local GPs across the area will be identifying, contacting and booking vaccine candidates over the next two-three weeks and on an ongoing basis.
Mrs Elphicke visited the Dover District Vaccination Centre on Saturday 16 January 2021 to congratulate Dr Julian Mead, whose Channel Alliance Group have been spearheading and leading the vaccination delivery programme. She thanked Dr Mead and staff, as well as the Rotary Club who have been providing volunteer support for this vital work.
The Dover District Vaccination Centre is a dedicated facility to prioritise vaccinations for local people across the Dover and Deal area. 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.
Mrs Elphicke urged residents to take up their appointments when invited to do so. She confirmed that 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.
Mrs Elphicke said: “I was delighted to attend the Dover District Vaccination Clinic at the weekend and meet local residents from around the area who were over the moon to receive their vaccinations.
“I have been working hard to ensure urgent delivery of vaccinations to our community, and I am delighted to support the centre set up by the Channel Health Alliance team led by Dr Julian Mead and which is backed by local GPs.
“This 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.
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“The vaccine is nothing short of a life-saving medical miracle. Our local GPs are all working hard to identify, check and book in patients. Local GPs are working together to make sure the vaccine can be delivered to those most in need of it.
“The vaccination programme for the first priority groups is scheduled not just to be rolled out but to be completed in a matter of a few weeks, so I would urge everyone who can attend that vaccination appointment when invited to do so.
“It is entirely understandable that residents are anxious to receive the vaccination. 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. This is a significant health and administrative task, let’s all support our local GPs to give them the time and space to make sure these vital vaccinations get out.”