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More than 30 new NHS Vaccine Centres will start delivering life-saving Covid jabs this week as the health service continues to accelerate the biggest immunisation programme in its history.
The Black Country Living Museum, where the BBC filmed the hit drama Peaky Blinders based on the notorious Birmingham gang in the 1920s, is among the new sites.
A former IKEA store at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, London, the Francis Crick Institute, which is also in the capital, the Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland and the Blackpool Winter Gardens will also be Vaccination Centres.
The first seven large-scale centres, which can jab thousands of people a week, opened two weeks ago with another 10 opening last week. The latest openings mean there will be a network of almost 50 across the country.
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.
There are more than 1,000 GP services and more than 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.
The new Vaccination Centres will kick off by jabbing mainly health and social care staff tomorrow (Monday) before opening their doors to more patients on Tuesday.
More than a million letters have already been sent out inviting people to the 17 Vaccination locations in operation, along with some community pharmacy sites, with hundreds of thousands more being sent to individuals over the age of 80 in the vicinity of these new vaccination sites.
NHS staff have already delivered more than 5.5 million doses of the vaccine and each centre will be capable of jabbing thousands of people every week depending on supply.
The NHS vaccinated over 140 people every minute last week and hopes to do more people this week as more becomes available.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive said: “The whole of the NHS has mobilised to set about delivering this huge covid vaccination programme, and as more supply becomes available, we’re able to expand its reach and scale.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Through the vaccines delivery plan we have made outstanding progress in vaccinating our NHS and care staff and the most vulnerable people in society.
“My utmost thanks go out to everyone in the NHS and all our volunteers who have worked round the clock to make this happen.
“We must not drop our guard. While the vaccine can prevent severe disease, we do not know if it stops you from passing on the virus to others, and it takes time to develop immunity after a jab, so for now everyone must continue to stay at home to help bring down infections and protect the NHS.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director said: “These new centres provide another option for people invited for their jabs, alongside the fantastic work of local GPs. Having visited many of these vaccine sites over the last few weeks, I’ve seen how much getting vaccinated means to those who are jabbed, their families and loved ones – and also to NHS staff who have to deal with the terrible consequences of this virus.”
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “I am delighted we are opening even more places for people to get a jab – as of this week there will be almost 50 vaccination centres, more than 250 hospitals hubs and over 1,000 local vaccination service sites, run by GPs and pharmacies right across the country.
“This will enable us to vaccinate as many people as possible in the weeks and months to come and I encourage anyone who has been invited for a free vaccine to come forward and get a jab.
“Remember, with high levels of infection everyone must continue to follow the rules, stay at home and maintain social distancing – even if you have had the vaccine.”
The 32* 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
- 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
- Units G,H & I, Daniel Platts Business Park, Staffs
- 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
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.
Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues.
The new vaccine centres will each be capable of delivering thousands of jabs each week but scaling up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.
If anyone has already received a jab since the letter was sent out or would prefer to wait to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service they can simply ignore it.
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.