PLANS have been set in place to speed up the rate of vaccination across north Essex.

Colchester’s MP Will Quince said several constituents had contacted him concerned about statistics showing only 36 per cent of the most vulnerable had been vaccinated.

Suffolk and north east Essex was one of the areas lowest down in the vaccination table.

But Mr Quince said as of Friday 54 per cent of over 80s in the area had been vaccinated and there was a “plan to accelerate” the vaccination programme.

He said: “The NHS locally agrees that there have been issues but I’m confident they’re working hard and have a clear plan to accelerate.

“In addition to logistics issues, we do have one of the highest proportion of care homes in the country in our area and a large older demographic.”


MP - Colchester's MP Will Quince 

North Essex has 179 of the 400 care homes in the county.

He added: “Around 40,000 doses of the vaccine have now been delivered.”

Mr Quince said about 10,000 people were due to be vaccinated on Saturday and yesterday.

Mr Quince said 80 per cent of care homes had already been vaccinated, with all homes likely to be done by today.

He added: “This is a huge logistical and operational challenge and whilst I appreciate the anxiety of local residents, I know that the NHS locally supported by volunteers is doing everything to get the vaccine rolled out quickly.

“I would like to again express my sincere thanks to all those working so hard on the vaccine roll out across Suffolk and North East Essex.”

The number of elderly people vaccinated varies depending on where in the country you are, with eastern England sitting just above London at 53 per cent.

It is the second from lowest percentages in the country.

Areas with lower vaccine rates are now being targeted by the Government in order to boost their figures.

An NHS spokesman said: “All available vaccine doses are being delivered to vaccination sites and every GP-led vaccination site is receiving a delivery this week.

“To ensure all of those people in the top priority groups can get vaccinated quickly, targeted deliveries are being made to areas where there are more people left to vaccinate in the priority cohorts.”

It is understood care home residents in north Essex will have been given the Oxford Covid jab as it can be more easily transported than the Pfizer jab.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows an estimated one in 55 people in private households in England had Covid between January 10 and January 16 this year.

That is the equivalent of 1.02 million people, or 1.88 per cent of the population.