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Covid-19 vaccinations 'aim to run as planned' despite snow warning for Kent


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Coronavirus vaccination clinics will aim to run as planned this weekend - unless the predicted weather leads to "disruption".

This comes after heavy snow was forecast for parts of Kent on Sunday.

Plans for this weekend's vaccination will go ahead unless there is 'disruption'
Plans for this weekend's vaccination will go ahead unless there is 'disruption'

However, if there is disruption, appointments will be rescheduled for a later date, say health bosses.

People receiving their vaccine this weekend have been urged to dress warmly in light of the predicted conditions.

A spokesman for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said: "Clinics will aim to run as planned this weekend.

"However, if there is disruption appointments will be rescheduled for another date.

"Details of any affected clinics will be posted on the CCG’s website and social media accounts.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that "lots of things have got to go right" for more than half of UK adults to be vaccinated by May. Picture: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that "lots of things have got to go right" for more than half of UK adults to be vaccinated by May. Picture: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images

"Patients attending a vaccine should dress warmly for cold weather and the potential for some queuing outside. Please try to arrive on time but not early.

"If anyone feels travel to a clinic is unsafe due to the weather in their area they should not try to travel; appointments can be rescheduled."

The government announced today that more than half of all UK adults should received a vaccine by May.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that "lots of things have got to go right" to hit the goal, including supply, but he said he was "sure" it was achievable.

More than 10.9 million first doses have already been given.

Mass Covid vaccination centre at Gravesend's Woodville Halls theatre
Mass Covid vaccination centre at Gravesend's Woodville Halls theatre

According to the Government's vaccines delivery plan, some 32 million people across the UK are estimated to fall into the first nine groups.

As of yesterday, about 62% of Kent's top four priority groups had been vaccinated against Covid-19 - with hopes growing that all will receive jabs by February 15.

It is estimated that in Kent and Medway, 411,000 people fall into these top groups - which comprise care home residents, healthcare workers, those aged over 70, and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Figures released by NHS England show that, as of January 31, nearly 260,000 people in the county had received their first jab.

However, the number of priority patients vaccinated is likely to be slightly lower, as this figure includes vaccines given to those such as teachers, who do not fall within the priority groups.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Paul Bentley at the opening of the Gravesend mass vaccination centre
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Paul Bentley at the opening of the Gravesend mass vaccination centre

A mass vaccine centre opened in Woodville Halls, Gravesend, on Tuesday.

It will be able to administer up to 15 jabs a minute when it is fully operational, seeing around 110,000 people a day.

Speaking at the opening of the centre, chief executive of the Kent Community Health NHS Trust Paul Bentley said: "We hope by setting this one up we'll cover the population of north Kent in conjunction with our colleagues in primary care and between us and cover the whole population.

"We will get to people as quickly as we can but there's an awful lot of people so we have to work in a logical and systematic way."

And in Maidstone, as of this week the Odeon cinema in the Lockmeadow complex has been turned into a vaccine centre.

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