Covid: 10 new mass vaccination centres to open in England
Ten new mass Covid vaccination centres are to open in England from Monday, as the government bids to meet its target of offering 15 million people in the UK a dose by 15 February.
Blackburn Cathedral and St Helens Rugby Ground are among the venues chosen to join the
seven hubs already in use.
NHS England said the new centres would offer “thousands” of jabs a week.
It comes as a further 324,233 vaccine doses were administered across the UK, taking the total above 3.5 million.
As the latest figures were announced on Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his thanks to “everyone who is helping in this fantastic national effort”.
More people (3.5 million) have now received a Covid vaccination in the UK than have tested positive (3.3 million) for the virus. However, it is believed there have been many more cases than have been recorded, as mass testing was not available during the first peak last spring.
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The government has promised all the over-70s, the extremely clinically vulnerable and frontline health and care workers – about 15 million people – will be offered a jab by mid-February.
And the government urged the public to “play their part” in supporting “the largest vaccination programme in British history”, including helping the elderly attend their appointments.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked people to commit to three pledges to “help out”, “join up” and “stay informed” during ongoing efforts to vaccinate, run clinical trials and share accurate health advice.
Where will the new mass vaccination centres be?
- Bournemouth International Centre, Dorset
- Taunton Racecourse, Somerset
- Blackburn Cathedral, Lancashire
- Salt Hill Activity Centre, Berkshire
- Norwich Food Court, Norfolk
- The Lodge in Wickford, Essex
- Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire
- St Helens Rugby Ground, Merseyside
- The park-and-ride at Askham Bar, York
- Olympic Office Centre in Wembley, north London
The seven hubs already in use are in: Etihad Tennis Centre, Manchester; Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey; Robertson House, Stevenage; Centre for Life, Newcastle; Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol; Millennium Point, Birmingham; ExCel, London.
People aged 80 or over, who live up to a 45-minute drive from a centre, are now being offered the choice of arranging a jab at one of the 17 centres, or at a pharmacy site through the national booking service.
Anyone not wanting to travel can wait to be contacted by their GP-led vaccination service or hospital.
Some 641,000 invitations were sent out last week and another 380,000 were due to land on people’s doormats this weekend, NHS England said, with another half a million letters to go out this week.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, around 45% of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinated.
In addition to the mass vaccination hubs, there are around a thousand GP-led surgeries and more than 250 hospitals providing jabs.
Marion Teulon, 67, a nurse at the new Blackburn Cathedral site, urged people not to arrive early for appointments.
“I know how eager people are to be protected and while it is important that people turn up on time, the last thing we want is people waiting unnecessarily in the cold so people should avoid arriving early and stick to their allocated slot,” she said.
DHSC said people could back “the national effort” by committing to the government’s pledges request.
The department said they can “help out” through supporting family and friends attending vaccine appointments or becoming an NHS volunteer responder, and “join up” to Covid-19 treatment clinical trials.
People can also help others “stay informed” by sharing accurate NHS advice and being alert for Covid vaccine scams.
The ongoing vaccine drive comes as a further 1,295 deaths were reported within 28 days of a positive Covid test – the third-highest daily total since the pandemic began.
While daily figures can fluctuate due to delays in reporting, the seven-day average of Covid deaths in the UK has now risen slightly to 1,103.
For cases, however, there has been a drop in the seven-day average, with the figure now at 48,565.
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A further 4,262 people have been admitted to hospital with the virus, taking the total to 37,475.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, said the “continuous rise in cases and deaths should be a bitter warning for us all”.
“We must not forget the basics,” she added. “The lives of our friends and family depend on it. Keep your distance from others, wash your hands and wear a mask.”
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Published at Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:00:15 +0000