Two new large vaccination centres opening in Lancashire this week will mark a significant step forward in the battle against Covid.

Sites at Blackpool Winter Gardens and Lancaster Town Hall will join the large centre at Blackburn Cathedral with more sites expected to be opened in the coming weeks.

The sites can deliver thousands of vaccinations every week and are intended to be an alternative to GP and hospital services.

The NHS reminds the public not to attempt book your vaccine before you receive a 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. GPs, nurses, pharmacists, staff from across partners and volunteers are worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to get the site ready as part of the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations.

"We are planning for more vaccination centres to go live in Lancashire and South Cumbria over the coming weeks. We are asking the public to support the NHS by not contacting your GP about your vaccination, we will invite you when it is your time.

“The rollout of the vaccine and establishing these sites involves a wide range of organisations working together. We need to thank the significant support to the NHS to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme from our wider partners including Lancashire County Council, Cumbria County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, our district councils, the military, police, local businesses and many more.”

More than 80,000 have been trained to deliver the vaccine, including former NHS staff, clinicians, and allied health professionals.

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.”

“The vaccine rollout is instrumental in the fight against Covid-19 and I would urge everyone to book an appointment when it is their turn to do so. But remember - even when you are vaccinated, it’s vitally important to continue to break the chain of infection by washing our hands, using a face covering and keeping our distance from others.”