Covid 19 Vaccine update
Great efforts have been made to organise the roll out of the vaccination programme in Suffolk. Not a straightforward task which has naturally encountered challenges. There are also high levels of public expectation set by the Health Minister that they will be vaccinated swiftly. Over promising and under delivering seems to be a pattern?
Dr Ed Garratt, the CEO of Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Health Care, who is leading the roll out, said on the 19th January:
“Our system is committed to vaccinating the first four cohorts of patients under Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance by mid-February. This includes the over 80s, over 70s, care homes residents, health and care staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable – all these groups will get all these groups vaccinated by then. I can also report we are aiming to ensure all care home residents will be vaccinated by this Sunday (24 January). We are making progress against these commitments – thanks to the hard work, dedication and professionalism of everyone within our health and care system.
All of Suffolk and the Colchester and Tendring areas of Essex now have 22 primary care network vaccination sites open and fully operational. Our hospital hubs at Colchester, Ipswich and West Suffolk are vaccinating significant numbers of health and social care workers. Our new website –
www.sneevaccine.org.uk – is also proving to be a useful resource for tens of thousands of local people. It contains details about the vaccination sites, FAQs and details about attending a vaccination appointment.”
So why do I see delays? As an observer of the roll out, living in a little village in West Suffolk, I suspect one of the challenges which has created delays in some rural areas is that the smaller GP Practices have not been able to deploy the Pfizer vaccine as easily as the bigger consortiums of GP Practices (like Woolpit, Botesdale and Stanton) or specially created Vaccination Hubs. As I understand it, the Pfizer jab comes in frozen batches of 975 vials, it has to be defrosted and mixed with water and then kept at a lower temperature than most fridges in a local Surgery - and used within a few days. A Surgery needs to have organised 975 appointments by telephone in a couple of days, set up the safety screens and staff PPE, agreed the roster of staff qualified to give jabs, installed the computer system to record patient details and the vaccine batch number, plus found the space for patients to sit under medical observation for 15 mins in case of anaphylactic shock -and checked adequate car parking space - and possibly found sufficient individuals with flat-capsand orange day-glow vests to be traffic marshals! So the smaller GP Surgeries, like Ixworth, have waited for supplies of the Astra Zeneca vials to become available which needs no special fridges or period of observation before the patient can leave. There is therefore a great demand for the Astra Zeneca vaccine - and supplies are limited. Not helped by the halt in production to modify the manufacturing process at the beginning of the year. Supplies of the Pfizer vaccine were also hindered this week when Suffolk GPs had to send batches back as they were too close to the expiry date and appointments rescheduled.
I can’t help feel that the relatively high incidence of covid-19 around the towns of Ipswich and Colchester - and higher population - must influence decisions on priority areas? The good news is that at a few hours notice Ixworth did get a small batch of vaccine last weekend and rapidly visited the Care Homes in their patch - vaccinating, I’m told, all residents and staff. They are hoping to be allocated 600 vials late this week to start on the over 80’s signed up to Ixworth. Appointments will be made by phone call and text message - not post. Naturally the GPs share concerns about not getting through and have told the admin staff to keep calling… The Patient Association Transport Service is available to help if requested.
From Graeme Norris, Ixworth Patients’ Association
Home But Not Alone
The Parish Council are keen to support efforts where we can to help villagers during the Coronavirus outbreak. Most of us might just experience a rather nasty bout of flu but others face more serious consequences.The current situation involves advice to drastically curtail our social lives and face-to-face contact with other people to save the more vulnerable. Indeed, from this weekend those over 70 or with certain health problems are being asked to self-isolate.
This could mean an unprecedented three-month isolation period for many of us in a bid to slow (but not necessarily halt) the spread of the virus until the health service is better prepared. Until there is widespread testing the government can only base policy on those showing possible symptoms and fearing the worse. Indeed, if a member of your household shows signs of becoming unwell, all the family are being asked to self-isolate.There is lots of advice available on the internet on what to do -
we would recommend https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-homeguidance
Please take the trouble to make contact with your immediate neighbours to let them know that you will help where you can with a bit of shopping or a chat over the phone if selfisolating. We suggest you keep to neighbours who will recognise you and know your offer is genuine. It is essential that no one is left to feel abandoned.
Also please don’t hesitate to use Troston’s Facebook page or Nextdoor as a way to share information and provide virtual support. A number of kind souls have already offered their help with shopping. They have established a misinformation policy to help ensure neighbours can find and share helpful and accurate information. Thank you for being a good neighbour.
Home Food Deliveries
Our first home delivery orders from Rambling Rose Coffee House have just left for two local residents electively self-isolating. Not only does this help those vulnerable in our society, it’s helping keeping our economy moving in this unprecedented times. If you’re self isolating or need some help, please call us on 01359 230028 or 07791 394143. By taking payments over the phone, we’re delivering orders to your doorstep without the need to come into contact therefore adhering to social distancing as much as possible! Together, we will bind as a community and stand resilient as us British are always claimed to do!
I work part time at No.5 Angel Hill in town.... we have decided to try and ease this stressful time and are offering prepared food/ wine and staples for delivery. Phone: 01284 700853 - Stay safe.
From Becci Adams
Worried about self isolating for the over 70s? We are delivering meals on wheels from £7 a day for a hot 2 course lunch. Add £3 for an evening salad, sandwich or soup & roll. provide a community service for the vulnerable-email me if you are interested -firstname.lastname@example.org From Vivien James
The Archbishops of the Church of England have announced that public worship will have to stop for a season. The usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings will be put on hold. They stated that this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop, the church buildings will open for private prayer and the ministry team will be available as usual. Troston church will be open as always, please use the hand sanitizer gel on arrival and departure. Services will be streamed from the cathedral , check out https://stedscathedral.org/ for details.