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Use of Balmoral Surgery as a second Covid-19 vaccination site are being reviewed following success at Clockwork Pharmacy

It is no longer certain that a surgery in Deal will become the town's second Covid vaccination centre.

Balmoral had never been put on the list of active vaccination sites since it was announced as a hub last month and campaigners said that confused residents.

The Balmoral Surgery. Picture: Gary Browne
The Balmoral Surgery. Picture: Gary Browne

But health chiefs now say they are putting it under review because of the success of the jabs programme at a local pharmacy and because some people have been injected in other towns.

Balmoral Surgery was first announced as a vaccines centre on January 22 but Clockwork Pharmacy in the High Street became the first active venue on January 30.

A spokesman for Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group this week told the Mercury: "The Deal-based pharmacy service is now vaccinating and our latest information shows many people from the Deal area have already used the Dover and Folkestone vaccination services.

" As we move to the next set of priority groups for the vaccine we are reviewing options for using Balmoral Surgery."

Both Dover District Council and Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke announced on January 22 that Balmoral had been agreed as a centre.

Clockwork Pharmacy in Deal High Street
Clockwork Pharmacy in Deal High Street

There has already been a vaccination hub at Dover Health Centre, in Maison Dieu Road, since January 15, and the injections at Clockwork took off 15 days later.

Clinical lead Nickil Patel had said the programme there had got off to a "flying start" and 1,200 people were expected to be inoculated in the first week.

A mass centre was also opened at the former Debenhams in Folkestone on January 26 and people in Sandwich have been able to get their inoculations at Broadstairs.

A joint statement has been put out by three people who instigated a petition to have a centre in Deal before Clockwork was used.

Deal town councillor Susan Carlyle, local campaigner Terry Bishop and Pam Brivio of the Dover Senior Citizens Forum said: "We welcome any extension of vaccination facilities that enable people in Deal and Walmer to not have to travel to other sites like Folkestone.

Cllr Susan Carlyle
Cllr Susan Carlyle

"With the elderly group this exposed people to risky transmission of coronavirus after shielding for several months, whether they used taxis or had support from relatives or friends.

".The confusion about Balmoral surgery has been a disaster for some patients who have waited patiently and put off having to go to Dover or centres even further away.

"We continue to support the success of the vaccination figures particularly with Clockwork Pharmacy showing the way with a local accessible service and hope the NHS will add to this example and bring reassurance to all members of the community to have a clear open to all facility in Deal."

In seven days ending on February 7, another 370,289 people received NHS inoculations for Covid-19 in Kent and Medway.

These included 88,794 first doses and 16,377 second doses for those aged over 80.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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