'Incredible achievement' as one million Covid jabs rolled out in region
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Health bosses have hailed an "incredible achievement" after the millionth Covid vaccine dose was rolled out in Suffolk and north Essex.
The Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS), which is overseeing the rollout in the region, confirmed the milestone was reached on Friday.
The millionth shot was administered to 45-year-old Akhtar Miah on the mobile vaccination bus outside Ipswich Mosque in Bond Street.
The mobile bus, which has been donated by Ipswich Buses to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is visiting communities with low jab uptake rates.
Mr Miah, who had his second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said it was a "privilege" to be the one who had the milestone shot.
He said: "I'm glad that it's done and I've got the second jab. Hopefully I'll be more protected as that's the main aim.
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"It's extremely important that people get vaccinated - everyone should have it. There's no reason why people should not have it. It's going to help yourself, help your family and everybody else around you.
"It's extremely important to get this done."
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Mahbub Alam Shamim, trustee of Ipswich Mosque, said more than 500 jabs had been done in Bond Street after the bus visited four times.
He said the presence of the mobile bus had helped encourage more people in the community to take the vaccine.
He said: "We are very grateful to the CCGs who do the vaccinations. It's very important because of what's going on in the media and people are not quite sure what to do."
Dr Ed Garratt, executive lead for the ICS, said reaching the milestone was an "incredible achievement" and a cause for celebration.
He also paid tribute to health care staff and volunteers assisting with the vaccine rollout in the region, whose efforts he described as "absolutely outstanding".
Dr Garratt added: “I am hugely proud that we’ve reached the one million vaccine mark, and am especially pleased that this has been delivered from our mobile vaccination bus which we established specifically to help us reach all members of our communities. It has been a big success.
"Local teams are doing a great job of inviting people back for their second doses as well, which are really important to give maximum protection from the virus, so please, if you are in one of the eligible groups and haven’t yet taken it up, there is still time."