Covid – continuing uncertainty

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Vaccination centre

England’s chief medical officer has warned that Covid records could continue to be broken in the next few weeks as the Covid Omicron variant spreads. He has advised that people should prioritise their social mixing in the run-up to Christmas.

The latest government statements indicate that there is unlikely to be any pre-Christmas decision about more stringent restrictions in England in an effort to halt hospital admissions. However it has said that “it reserves the possibility” to do so.

As a result, some scientists are expressing dismay at the lack of any tighter restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron, arguing that to wait until the new year would “almost certainly be too late to have a material impact on the epidemic”. The future path of the pandemic remains uncertain.

The vulnerable

Those who are particularly vulnerable will have received a letter from the national medical director, NHS England about new Covid treatments including arrangements for home PCR tests.

Vaccination as a way out of the pandemic

Since the government decision to provide all adults over 18 with boosters there has been huge demand at the Rye vaccination centre. As a result there has been an extension of operating hours.

The process in the centre is now very well practised, permitting the smooth handling of huge numbers of patients. Last weekend some 2,850 were processed. By Christmas some 40,000 will have been vaccinated at the site since late May 2021.

This has required an extraordinary commitment by community volunteer marshals and registrars, who support the professional vaccinators and ensure that people pass through the centre in the minimum amount of time.

Behind the scenes there is an enormous amount of planning, administration and logistics led by the Ticehurst team of chemists, Hardik Desai and Ankit Tyagi with colleague Tejas Avaiya. They in turn are helped by some lead volunteers and the staff of Rye Partnership.

In common with other much larger sites elsewhere in Sussex, local volunteers have risen to the challenge, allaying any initial concerns there might have been about coping with the demand for vaccination boosters.

The mayor of Rye, Councillor Rebekah Gilbert has just written to all the Ticehurst team and “the wonderful Rye Volunteers”:

“Thank you so much for all that you are doing to help our local community at the vaccination centre. All your incredible hard work is so valuable and very, very much appreciated. On behalf of the town, we recognise the hard work and long hours that you are putting in, so that others might benefit. Thank you again for your kind selfless action. Rebekah”

Those at the centre are now on a well deserved short break over Christmas, after which the operation will continue. Who knows what 2022 will bring?

To access the Rye centre we prefer people to book via the national booking website or telephone 119.

The latest details of the Rye vaccination operation can be found on Facebook @ryepfizer to where anyone with specific enquiries can direct message.

Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .

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