A new large-scale vaccination centre has opened its doors today, Thursday 4 March, at Murray Hall Community Centre in Loughton.
The Murray Hall site is being run by local NHS organisation Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) with the support of Epping Forest District Council, Loughton Town Council, New City College Epping Forest and local voluntary sector colleagues.
Michael Lawrence, 66, a digger driver from Waltham Abbey had come along with his wife, Sandra, for their vaccines.
He said: “The booking system was really easy and it is really close to our home so we were happy to come here as soon as we got our letters and could book.
“COVID has affected our lives, as it has everyone, so getting the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel and will hopefully mean we can see our children and grandchildren again.”
Sharlene Mutyasira, 27, works in social care which is a group of people who currently have priority within the vaccine programme due to working with vulnerable people, and lives in Chigwell.
“I was teary-eyed when I came in because I was pretty anxious about having the vaccine..
“I have had lots of discussions with my friends about it because there has been a lot of misinformation about the vaccine.
“But I would say to everyone do your research - it really is absolutely the right thing to have the vaccine.”
Local GPs have also started inviting a wider group of adults of all ages who have been identified as having underlying health conditions which put them at greater risk of suffering serious illness if they catch coronavirus.
This includes those newly identified as being on the Shielded Patients List and adult carers who are either registered for Carers Allowance or are identified as a carer on their GP records.
Eligible patients can choose to receive their vaccination at Murray Hall or at GP-led services and other large vaccination sites run by HCT including Harlow Leisurezone, the Avanti Meadows Primary School in Bishop’s Stortford and Robertson House in Stevenage.
Appointments can be booked at nhs.uk/covidvaccination, or by phoning 119. People still have the choice of waiting to be contacted by their GP- practice.
People should only attend for a vaccination at Murray Hall if they have a confirmed appointment at that location. Anyone attending for a vaccine appointment is asked to arrive at the time of their appointment to avoid the need to wait to be seen, and to help maintain social distancing.