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Pointing the way out of coronavirus nightmare at King’s Lynn hospital – one jab at a time

todayJanuary 29, 2021 6

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More than 11,000 people have now been vaccinated against coronavirus at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, officials said today.

The operation to protect patients, staff and other frontline health and care workers, began late last month.

And, although the hospital’s death toll has risen again today, and now stands at 354, the hospital’s vaccination hub has delivered around 450 jabs every day since it opened on December 30

Administering the coronavirus vaccine (44188615)
Administering the coronavirus vaccine (44188615)

Denise Smith, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said: “I’m so proud of the QEH team for vaccinating so many members of our local community, and our own staff so quickly.This vaccine is giving us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“In the meantime, it’s important that we all continue to follow the government guidance, by washing our hands, covering our face and maintaining space.

“This is the best thing we can do while the vaccine is rolled out to help protect our patients, their families and each other.”

Preparing the vaccines (44188606)
Preparing the vaccines (44188606)

As well as the hospital’s own staff, and people aged 80 and over, other frontline health and care staff have also been receiving vaccinations at the QEH.

Among those who received the jab today was Gail Griffiths, a support worker from Norfolk County Council.

She said: “It feels so good to get this vaccine. I’ve been out in high risk areas on the frontline since the beginning of the pandemic.

“In my job, you can’t social distance as you are giving personal care and supporting individuals in need out in the community. The service today has been very good – the system is perfect.”

QEH staff at work on the vaccination programme (44188609)
QEH staff at work on the vaccination programme (44188609)

Among the staff delivering the vaccines is Theatre Sister Katie Lockwood, who is among those to have been redeployed from other areas to the operation to work alongside retired workers who have returned to the service.

She said: “This new role is so rewarding – I feel like I’m doing something to bring this horrible virus to an end.

“The patients are so grateful and the staff I work with are fantastic, it’s really lovely.”

A staff member receives her jab (44188612)
A staff member receives her jab (44188612)

North West Norfolk MP James Wild said: “This significant milestone reflects the great efforts of everyone involved and underlines the vital role that QEH’s vaccination hub is playing in protecting vulnerable people in North West Norfolk.

“Every vaccination helps to protect lives and bring us closer to when we can lift lockdown restrictions.”

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, who has visited the site, said the success of the hospital’s vaccination programme “showed the NHS at its best.”

He added: “The staff at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital should be commended for achieving the provision of over 11,000 vaccinations for residents of West and North Norfolk.

“It was evident that the staff were working like a well-oiled machine from the security staff helping and directing people in the car park to the administrative and clinical staff working in the centre.”

And county councillor Alexandra Kemp said the hospital was better placed to deliver vaccines than other community settings.

She said: “It is such good news for the whole of West Norfolk that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has now achieved and exceeded the 11,000 milestone for COVID-19 vaccinations. We all pay tribute to the achievement of the staff in such a short space of time.”

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