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Hoo Peninsula residents last out of 42 areas of Kent to have access to Covid-19 vaccinations

Concerns have been raised about how people living in the last place in Kent without a vaccine centre are going to access their jabs.

The Hoo Peninsula is the only area out of 42 healthcare zones across the county not to have somewhere lined up to administer vaccinations.

A nurse gives out the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham. Picture: Medway NHS Foundation Trust
A nurse gives out the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham. Picture: Medway NHS Foundation Trust

It is understood residents might be asked to travel to Halling, on the opposite side of Strood to the peninsula, once a centre has been established there which has led a councillor to raise his concerns.

Cllr Mick Pendergast will attempt to pass a motion at Thursday's full council meeting, calling on the Kent and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to spread the distribution of vaccination centres more widely.(January 21)

The Independent councillor says despite the best efforts of the Towns' MPs, he has concerns about the elderly and vulnerable using public transport to get to Halling if the centre there gets the go-ahead.

He also fears the journey could put them at further risk and says the peninsula's already inefficient bus network will not help.

He said: "For them to use public transport, it's a five-and-a-half-hour round trip.

"People out here are at more risk of being neglected."

"How are they expecting the elderly, frail people to get to Halling? People in towns can jump on the bus every 20 minutes and they don't understand rural life.

"People out here are at more risk of being neglected."

Last week, concerns were raised by Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst who said she would be pushing harder for a vaccine centre to be opened on the peninsula.

The CCG said that 41 out of 42 primary care network areas across Kent had been finalised and the last area where plans were being confirmed was the peninsula.

In a statement, it said: "We understand everyone is keen to see vaccine services available in their area and this is an absolute priority for us.

"We are working hard to finalise the services for the peninsula as quickly as possible.”

Vaccination centres in the community are open in Rainham, Gillingham and Chatham but it is understood plans to set one up in Strood have been delayed due to IT issues.

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