More than one million people aged 80 or over have been invited to book a coronavirus jab at a Vaccination Centre, as the NHS accelerates the immunisation programme – the biggest in health service history.
The UK population have so far received over 3.8 million vaccine doses against COVID-19, with over 324,000 doses yesterday alone.
Ten new large-scale centres, including a rugby ground, racecourse, food court and a cathedral will also open this week, joining the seven already delivering the life-saving jab. Plus there are now also over a thousand GP-led services and more than 250 hospitals offering coronavirus vaccinations, with dozens of new high street pharmacies also jabbing people by the end of this week.
The NHS sent out 641,000 invitations last week and another 380,000 have landed on doormats this weekend. Another half a million will go out this week.
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, is off to a strong start with more than three million people receiving the life-saving jab, including more than a third of those aged 80 or over.
“We are adding more sites as more vaccine supplies become available, so that people can chose a convenient option, with around a million invites sent over the last week for those aged 80 and over.
“Having worked alongside clinicians at my local hospital I know how tough it is for our staff treating an increasing number of seriously ill people with COVID-19 – so I cannot stress enough how important it is that everyone plays their part by practicing social distancing and following the national guidance.”
The ten new sites opening from Monday (18 January) are:
Bournemouth International Centre
Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough
The Lodge, Wickford, Essex
Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire
St Helens Rugby Ground
Park and ride at Askham Bar, York
Network House, Wembley, London
The nearest Vaccination Centre here in the Midlands is Millennium Point, Birmingham which opened last week.
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS’s national medical director, said: “Increasing supplies means the NHS can open even more vaccination services and protect even more people this week.
“While my NHS colleagues are working hard to ensure we can offer vaccines to all of those who would benefit most over the next month, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it, we need the public to help us.
“Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you. When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments. And whether you have had a vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you can’t.”