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Hope in sight with vaccination centres open and promise of new vaccine

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Vaccines have been rolled out in the Royal Borough at two new vaccination sites – and soon the new Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will also be available.

The Maidenhead vaccination site is at the Desborough Theatre in the town hall.

Last week saw many residents in the 80-and-over age group show up for their vaccine, created by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Dr Huw Thomas is a GP and NHS East Berkshire CCG’s interim clinical lead for the Royal Borough.

“Vaccination remains one of the most important contributors to public health,” he said. “All of us here are honoured to play a part in protecting our residents.”

People arriving for their vaccine should enter the Desborough Suite via the entrance on Park Street, the road behind the town hall.

Free parking is available in the Shanly Homes car park, at the corner of Grove Road and York Road. There are on-site marshals and wheelchairs for those that need them.

Residents should attend no more than 15 minutes ahead of their appointment time, as arriving too early can result in queues developing.

Those eligible for a vaccine will be contacted directly by their GP surgery with an invitation. This could be via text message or a phone call.

A spokesman for Frimley Health said:“If you receive a text message inviting you to make a booking, please ensure you follow the instructions and book an appointment.

“The text message invitation is not confirmation of the appointment.”

The Government announced yesterday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency supply in the UK.

First doses were released yesterday so Oxford versions of the vaccination may begin early in the new year.

Studies show that the new vaccine is 62-90 per cent effective.

Unlike the current Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has to be stored at very low temperatures, the new one can be stored at normal refrigerated conditions. This will make it easier to deliver it to care homes and GP surgeries.

The UK has secured 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, enough for 50 million people.

The Government said this week that people receiving either vaccine from now on will receive the second dose up to 12 weeks after their first, rather than three weeks, as before.

“This is to increase the number of people who get a first dose, to have as many people as possible protected,” said Councillor Stuart Carroll, the Royal Borough’s lead member for health.

“It is still a two-dose process, so it’s vital that people do follow through on that second dose. This is a momentous feat of science, but every vaccine is only as good as its uptake.”

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