Over 95 percent of the over 70s have now received their Covid-19 vaccination within the North Uttlesford Primary Care Network, covering Gold Street Surgery, Crocus Medical Practice, Newport Surgery and Thaxted Surgery.

Over the last six weeks, there have been 7,730 injections including to those classed as extremely clinically vulnerable. There have been home visits for residents unable to travel and all local care home residents and staff were offered a vaccine at the start of January.

Dr Richard Boyce, Clinical Director of North Uttlesford Primary Care Network, said: "This is a massive achievement, and simply would not have been possible without the partnerships we have formed with the voluntary service locally (CVSU), the District Council, Uttlesford Health, 1Life at the Leisure Centre and our West Essex CCG. We would like to offer a huge thank you to all of the volunteers.

"We understand that patients have found the process at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre easy and simple. We have been touched by the many letters of thanks.

"We have been able to complete up to 1,750 vaccinations a day and if the supply of vaccine improves we hope to move through the rest of our local population at great pace."

Dr Boyce said appointments at each surgery continue to be unaffected as vaccinations take place at weekends.

For vaccination appointments at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre, patients are contacted directly, by phone or by text message. It is not part of the central booking system used at other 'mass vaccination' sites at Bishop's Stortford or in Cambridge which are run by NHS England.

Any patient over 70 or extremely clinically vulnerable who has not received confirmation of an appointment or a home visit should call their GP surgery. Dr Boyce said it was still important to continue to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and avoid contacting anyone outside household bubbles where possible.

"Along with the vaccination programme, these simple actions are critical at keeping the numbers of new coronavirus infections as low as possible and allowing us to return to normal more quickly."

Saffron Walden Reporter: Dora Hunter receives a Covid-19 vaccination from Dr Richard BoyceDora Hunter receives a Covid-19 vaccination from Dr Richard Boyce (Image: S Ogle)

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