Covid vaccinations given at the Lord Butler

Woman wearing facemask gives thumbs up

Dora Hunter was the first to get the Covid-19 vaccination in Saffron Walden. She give two thumbs up after waiting for the 15 minutes after the vaccine has been given. - Credit: SIMON OGLE

The Covid-19 vaccination is now being given to the most vulnerable in the community, starting with people aged over 80.

Dora Hunter, 88, was the first to receive the vaccination in Saffron Walden.

Dora, a former nurse,  said: “It was something I hoped I would get, the vaccine, but I was surprised to be invited so early and obviously honoured to be the first.  This year hasn’t been too bad for me. I am in a place where there are other people but we haven’t been able to mix too much so this will hopefully give us that back.”

Dora said the process had been quick and simple and encouraged others to follow in her footsteps when invited. Everyone who is vaccinated will need a booster jab after 21 days.

In the West Essex CCG area, vaccination centres include the Lord Butler Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden and Stansted Surgery in Stansted Mountfitchet. The North Uttlesford practices of Gold Street, Crocus, Newport and Thaxted surgeries are working together.

vial of Covid-19 vaccination

Covid-19 vaccination vials are in the district. - Credit: SIMON OGLE

medic puts Covid-19 vaccine into a syringe

Dr Claes Iqbal draws up the Covid-19 vaccine in Saffron Walden. - Credit: SIMON OGLE

Dr Richard Boyce, Clinical Director of North Uttlesford Primary Care Network, said: “We’re delighted to have begun the Covid-19 vaccination programme for North Uttlesford.

“As the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out in the weeks and months ahead, more residents will be invited to have their vaccine, and we’ll be contacting people directly to invite them to book.

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"In the meantime, everyone can help us and play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by regularly washing their hands, wearing a face mask when required and maintaining social distancing.”

Residents are being asked to be patient and to wait to be called and invited to book their vaccination.

Beckie Reynolds, Uttlesford contract manager said: “There’s no denying the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on us all, so we were thrilled to be able to play our part, together with the local council and NHS to deliver vaccinations to the people of North Uttlesford. By working together, we can beat this.”

Dr Jane Halpin, the Chief Executive of the area’s three GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “The amount of work that has gone into preparing for the biggest ever vaccination programme in the history of the NHS cannot be overestimated. 

"The work undertaken by Primary Care – our GP practice staff - has been simply remarkable.  In addition, our district and county council colleagues, the police and the wider family of NHS organisations have been involved in supporting a number of the community vaccination sites, helping to bring the vaccine into local communities in a safe and secure way.

“I would like to thank everyone who is continuing to play their part in helping to protect our communities from the virus.”

Woman receives vaccination to upper arm

Dora Hunter receives a Covid-19 vaccination from Dr Richard Boyce - Credit: SIMON OGLE

Couple wearing masks, attending vaccination clinic in hall

Dora Hunter arrives at the Saffron Walden Covid-19 vaccination clinic with her son in law. - Credit: SIMON OGLE

Hall being used for vaccination programme

Saffron Walden's Lord Butler Leisure Centre is one of the venues for the vaccination clinics. - Credit: SIMON OGLE

medical screens and chairs in hall

One of the venues being used is Saffron Walden's Lord Butler. - Credit: SIMON OGLE