Rapid Covid tests for those without symptoms come to Essex, and vaccine is on way

Covid could be on its way out in Essex. Picture: Getty images

Covid could be on its way out in Essex. Picture: Getty images - Credit: Archant

Covid-19 vaccinations will be delivered to Stansted Surgery and a vaccination programme could start this month.

While staff are still waiting for some information, the surgery is the lead in the Primary Care Network and will be working alongside Elsenham, John Tasker House, Angel Lane and Eden Surgeries in South Uttlesford.

They collectively have 50,000 patients.

The programme is likely to start by using Stansted Surgery premises for the vaccination clinics.

They will use support staff such as pharmacists, physicians associates and emergency care practitioners, volunteers such as retired nurses and retired GPs to deliver the vaccine which needs to be given in two doses with a date gap between each. But they may still have to get GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants involved.

After each dose, patients have to wait 15 minutes before leaving.

Patients are asked to email sutt.covid@nhs.net individually for each member of the household, to put the name of your surgery and age in the subject line, and provide an up to date mobile phone number.

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Meanwhile, lateral flow tests are being sent out by NHS Test and Trace to over 50 public health directors to expand asymptomatic testing for Covid-19.

Each area will receive an initial batch of 10,000 rapid tests as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.

This innovative new testing technology can provide results within an hour without needing to be processed in a lab.

Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden constituency, has welcomed the news.

“Mass testing will play a crucial role in tackling coronavirus, and I am pleased the Government are deploying these new rapid-turn around tests to Essex which can help identify thousands of people who don’t have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing.”

On Wednesday (December 2), Essex went back into Tier 2.

David Burch at Essex Chambers of Commerce said they were “naturally disappointed” for businesses in Essex.

“The continuing restrictions on the hospitality sector are particularly disappointing as many pubs are at the heart of their town centres and local communities.

“In the coming weeks as we approach Christmas we would encourage people to think about supporting their local retailers and other businesses first.”