Unease grows as the wait for Diss vaccination hub goes on
Calls for a vaccination centre in Diss continue to grow as many elderly and shielding residents remain in the dark on when they will receive their jab.
The calls come after new figures revealed that, up until January 17, only one in 16 people in the East of England have received their first dose of the vaccine – making it the second lowest rate in England, and the lowest outside of London.
At the turn of the year, NHS England promised there would be a coronavirus vaccination hub “in every corner of Norfolk and Waveney” within the coming weeks – but, more than a fortnight on, and residents are still finding themselves making the 40-mile round trip to Poringland to get their jab.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for NHS England reiterated that more vaccination sites in Norfolk were coming, but was unable to confirm when or where these would be.
Earlier this month, some businesses in Diss offered up their venues to be used as vaccination sites, including the Corn Hall, in St Nicholas Street.
Lee Johnson, operations manager at the arts and entertainment venue, said that the offer still stands.
“We’re available – if they give us a call, we can make it happen,” he said.
“We have a large building, we can have a lot of people in the main hall at once, we can make a one-way system, and we are right in the town centre.”
Mr Johnson added that for many in the town, the trip to Poringland Community Centre was simply not feasible.
He said: “It’s starting to feel as though Diss has been forgotten about – 20 miles is a long way if you don’t have a car and are relying on public transport. And if you’re not in a bubble, it makes it really difficult.”