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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Seven mass vaccination sites open including football stadium and tennis club

Seven mass vaccination sites open including football stadium and tennis club

Seven mass vaccination sites are set to open across England, including a football stadium, a tennis club and a race course.

They are due to open on January 11, meaning thousands more people will get the jab this week.

The seven new England vaccine centres opening are: Ashton Gate in Bristol, Epsom racecourse in Surrey, the Excel Centre where London’s Nightingale hospital is based, Newcastle’s Centre for Life, the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, Robertson House in Stevenage and Birmingham’s Millennium Point.

The locations were chosen to give a geographical spread covering as many people as possible, NHS England said.

The new centres will be joined later in the week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total to around 1,200, NHS England said.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director, said the ramping up of vaccination sites would help ‘protect even more people’.

A vaccination centre set up at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey

The mass vaccine sites will each be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week and could increase their operations according to vaccine supplies and demand, NHS England said.

The Government is aiming to vaccinate almost 14 million vulnerable people – including the over-80s, care home residents and health and care staff – by the middle of February.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said they are on course to meet the target, with over 200,000 people being vaccinated every day in England and a third of over-80s already jabbed.

Some 600 invites were due to be sent over the weekend and this coming week to people aged 80 and above who live up to a 45-minute drive from one of the new mass vaccination centres.

The sites will also vaccinate health and care staff.

Professor Powis said: ‘Increasing supplies means the NHS can open even more vaccination services and protect even more people this week.

‘While my NHS colleagues are working hard to ensure we can offer vaccines to all of those who would benefit most over the next month, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it, we need the public to help us.

‘Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you. When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments.’

He reminded everyone, whether they have had a vaccine or not, they need to keep following all the guidance ‘to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you can’t’.

Meanwhile, Boots said its first vaccination site is due to open later this week to offer the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab to the people most vulnerable.

The pharmaceutical firm said sites in Huddersfield and Gloucester are planned to open in the coming weeks.

Seb James, Boots managing director, said: ‘Our vaccination sites are clean, clinical environments, inaccessible, convenient locations, like high streets, and we have extensive experience in vaccination services, having carried out over a million flu vaccinations in this winter flu season alone.

‘We hope to help the NHS and enable more people to get the vaccination quickly.’

Of the almost 1,000 vaccination sites currently open across the country, the NHS said almost 800 are GP-led services which are expected to deliver most of the jabs.


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