More than 30 new vaccination centres join biggest NHS jab drive

NHS staff will start delivering life-saving Covid vaccinations at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, a former DIY store and the museum where BBC hit Peaky Blinders was filmed today.

The new NHS Vaccination Centres are among more than 30 opening across the country as the vaccination drive continues to accelerate.

There is now a network of 50 large scale centres, capable of jabbing thousands of people a week, across the country.

They include the Crick Institute in London and the Sunderland Nightingale hospital as well as the Black Country Living Museum, used as the backdrop to Peaky Blinders.

People aged 75 and over are being invited to book a vaccination at the centres or one of more than 70 pharmacy services now operating across the country.

If they cannot or do not want to travel to a Vaccination Centre people can wait to be jabbed by a local GP service or hospital hub.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, is off to a strong start, with NHS staff working hard to accelerate delivery as more vaccines supplies come on stream, while caring for very large numbers of people who are seriously ill with Covid.

“I am enormously proud of their successful so far. We are determined to save as many lives as possible by vaccinating the most vulnerable as swiftly as we can along with those who care for them.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am grateful to all the NHS staff, volunteers and our armed forces for their continued tireless work to offer lifesaving vaccines to the most vulnerable people in our society.

“I urge every eligible person to book your jab when you get invited. By opening up more vaccination sites we are making it easier for people to get their vaccine.

“Vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself but a jab doesn’t mean you can drop your guard. It takes time to develop protection and we do not yet know if it stops transmission. For now everyone must continue to play their vital role in this fight by staying at home to save lives.”

Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “I am delighted by the outstanding progress we’re already making in the biggest vaccination programme in UK history.

“These 33 new major vaccine centres will bolster our existing network and enable the NHS to protect as many people as possible in the coming weeks.

“It is important everyone continues to follow the rules by staying at home and maintaining social distancing, even if you have had the vaccine, to save lives.”

The 33 new sites opening from Monday (25 January) are:

  • Bath and West Showground, Somerset
  • Bath Racecourse
  • Salisbury City Hall
  • Home Park – Plymouth Argyle FC
  • Stithians Showground, Truro, Cornwall
  • Westpoint Centre ltd, Devon
  • Peterborough City Care Centre
  • Harlow Leisurezone, Essex
  • Redgrave Children’s Centre, Luton
  • Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich
  • Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre, Crouch End
  • Westfield Stratford City- old Ikea and Dwell retail unit
  • The Francis Crick Institute
  • Hawks Road Health Clinic, Kingston, London
  • Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
  • Peepul Centre, Leicester
  • Hall 1, Stoneleigh Park Agricultural Centre, Warwickshire
  • Derby Arena
  • Artix Centre, Bromsgrove
  • Royal Pavilion, Moulton Park, Nortants
  • Former Wickes Store, Mansfield
  • Telford International Centre
  • Daniel Platt Centre, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
  • Spectrum Community Health CIC, Wakefield
  • Sunderland Nightingale
  • Brighton Centre
  • Debenhams, Folkestone
  • Oxford Kassam Stadium
  • Southampton CCG Offices
  • Blackpool Winter Gardens
  • Lancaster Town Hall
  • Grafton Centre, Cambridge

NHS staff are working around the clock to vaccinate priority groups in line with the guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

That was restricted to those aged 80 along with care home residents and staff but after the strong start the government has opened vaccinations up to all those aged 70 and over and the clinically vulnerable. Those aged 80 or over will continue to be prioritised for vaccination.

The latest openings mean that vaccinations are now available from more than 1,300 NHS sites as part of the biggest immunisation drive in NHS history.

Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues.

Nobody needs to contact the NHS, as people will be invited when it is their turn and people cannot get vaccinated by just turning up.

Those like care home residents who are unable to travel to vaccine centres, hospitals or GP-led sites are already being jabbed at home.

The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on the 8 December.

The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, was jabbed on January 4.

Research carried out in the NHS also identified the world’s first treatment for COVID, the steroid Dexamethasone.