MASS coronavirus vaccination sites are set to open across the UK next week, with more Brits getting jabs to protect them from Covid-19.
The government today confirmed seven new locations that would host jab centres, including football grounds and conference centres.
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The ExCel centre in London will be one of the vaccine centres Credit: PA:Press Association
Earlier this week it was reported that one in four Brits were living in areas with no vaccination centres.
The announcement that new centres will open next week comes a month after the UK’s vaccine programme got underway and with the government under pressure to increase the pace of the rollout.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week pledged to vaccinate up to 14 million Brits by mid-February.
The PM promised today daily updates on the number of people who have had the vaccine to keep the nation in the loop on the fight against the virus.
The new centres will be staffed by NHS staff and volunteers and will be situated in venues in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage.
A spokesperson told a Westminster briefing that the centres would include Robertson House in Stevenage; the ExCel Centre in London; the Centre for Life in Newcastle and the Etihad Tennis Centre in Manchester.
The 7 vaccination centres
- Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
- Millennium Point, Birmingham
- Etihad Tennis and Football Centre, Manchester
- Centre for Life, Newcastle
- Excel Centre (Nightingale), London
- Epsom Downs racecourse, Surrey
- Robertson House, Stevenage
Other centres are located in Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey; Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol and Millennium Point in Birmingham.
The new additions will sit alongside 775 GP-led centres and 207 hospital sites that are also set to open by the end of the week.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: “They are opening next week.
“It may be the case that some open on a different day to others, but they will all open next week.”
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference last night Mr Johnson promised that the Government’s new strategy to give out as many first doses of coronavirus vaccine as possible was the right one – and would save lives.
He said: “With Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca combined – as of this afternoon – we have now vaccinated over 1.1 million people in England and over 1.3 million across the UK.
“And that includes more than 650,000 people over 80 – which is 23 per cent of all the over 80s in England.
“And that means that nearly 1 in 4 of one of the most vulnerable groups will have in 2 to 3 weeks – all of them – a significant degree of immunity.”
He said that it was vital to consider the importance of the huge progress so far.
The average age of Covid fatalities is in the 80s, he added.
As per guidance from regulators, the vaccine rollout will start with people in care homes, followed by all those over 80, then more NHS workers.
After that the over 75s will get the jab, and then those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have had to shield.