NEW vaccination centres at are set to go live this week, along with additional community pharmacy sites.
Thousands of people aged 75 and over and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be invited to book a coronavirus vaccination at either Blackpool Winter Gardens and Lancaster Town Hall in addition to the centre at Blackburn Cathedral.
People who are eligible, live within 45 minutes’ drive from the vaccination sites and who have not already been vaccinated by their local GP-led vaccination service or hospital hub, will receive letters this week from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, explaining how they can book their appointment.
Now that more doses of Covid-19 vaccines are available, the NHS is able to open more vaccination services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, including large vaccination centres and pharmacies. Blackpool Winter Gardens and Lancaster Town Hall are among a number of large sites opening across Lancashire and South Cumbria in the coming weeks to offer a convenient alternative to GP and hospital services, which can deliver thousands of vaccinations every week.
The NHS is rolling out additional services quickly, but it remains important that the public don’t try to book or go to these services before they receive their booking letter.
People who book into the vaccination centre will be greeted by volunteers, who will marshal car parks and register them when they arrive. Bookings are staggered to allow social distancing. People will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab and the whole service will be led and overseen by trained nurses.
Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “As the expansion of the Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to gather pace, we are delighted that Blackpool Winter Gardens and Lancaster Town Hall will both also be used as large vaccination centres and that community pharmacy-led sites are now beginning to open, increasing availability of more local options."
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is leading the recruitment of staff for the vaccination programme throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “We are grateful for the co-operation of everyone at both the Winter Gardens and Lancaster Town Hall in making these venues available to use as large vaccination centres.
"I would personally like to thank the whole team for their enormous and outstanding contribution in getting it up and running so quickly."
Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, Leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “We are extremely grateful and excited to be able to support the NHS and our communities by opening up the town hall as a vaccination centre.
“To do so has been a huge logistical operation and my thanks go to all of those who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make it happen.”
Invitations to attend the new centre are being issued to people aged 75 or over or those clinically extremely vulnerable who are not listed as having been vaccinated at a hospital or GP service.
In Lancashire and South Cumbria, additional vaccination centres will go live over the coming weeks in Central Lancashire, Morecambe Bay and Pennine Lancashire. As soon as these are ready and available they will appear on the national NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service.