Brightlingsea residents now look set to receive Covid-19 vaccinations at two locations in Colchester and Clacton.
The North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group - NEECCG - has told Brightlingsea Info that the St Helena Tendring Centre in Jackson Road, Clacton, and the Primary Care Centre next to Colchester Hospital will be the vaccination centres for Brightlingsea. A third North Essex centre – the Fryatt Hospital in Harwich – started vaccinating today (January 5).
Frontline health and social care staff and care home workers are currently being prioritised for Covid-19 vaccinations as "it is imperative that they are able to continue giving care", according to a NEECCG spokesman. As a result, the spokesman suggested Brightlingsea residents who are over 80 years old should start to be called in sometime in the week beginning January 10, though he stressed that the "fast-moving" situation depended on adequate supplies of vaccine and could be subject to change.
Up to the start of the week beginning January 4, around 4,000 people had been vaccinated at Colchester Hospital, with a further 975 at the Primary Care Centre and 975 at the St Helena Tendring Centre. The NEECCG spokesman said that the PfizerBioNTech vaccine was the one being used locally – some elderly and vulnerable Brightlingsea residents have already had one or both of the two shots required at Colchester – and that there were no plans locally to extend the time between shots past the manufacturer-recommended three weeks.
Though the over-80s are in the first cohort scheduled to receive the vaccine, the NEECCG spokesman said that older people with underlying health conditions will be prioritised – "so you're more likely to get it sooner if you're 93 rather than 83". Those over-80s in reasonably good health may not be called for two weeks or more.
The spokesman said that while anxiety about when vaccinations would take place was understandable, he urged patience and re-iterated that people should not contact their local GP practice about appointments but wait to be called by the NHS. "We haven't forgotten you, but we are having to target the most vulnerable," he said.