New major mass vaccination centre to open in Essex today

A brand new mass vaccination centre is set to open in Essex today.

The county will see its first vaccination centre open in Wickford as part of the government’s ambitious plan to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine (Monday, January 18).

The Lodge, in the village of Runwell near Wickford, is one of 10 new sites where the vaccination will be offered to the over-80s and anyone else who is eligible.

It has been confirmed by Runwell Sports Football Club that the vaccination roll out will take place close to the football club and people will be allowed to use the car park to get their vaccine.

In a Facebook post, the club said: “Just to advise that Runwell Sports & Social Club is assisting the NHS by allowing our car parks to be used for the Runwell vaccination centre.

“If you see the gates open and cars in the car park this is why, not that the club is open.

“Please be aware that the gates will be opened and locked as necessary so suggest you don’t park in there for any other reason for fear of being locked in.”

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Last week saw the first of the mass vaccination sites opening in seven areas, including in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

NHS England has involved 1,000 GP surgeries and more than 250 hospitals to provide the jab.

The new site near Wickford will be able to offer the jab to “thousands” each week and they will scale operations up or down depending on the vaccine supplies.

Those who are aged 80 or over who live in a 45-minute drive from the site will be invited for their vaccine and can sort this through the national booking service.

Those who don’t want to travel far can wait to be contacted by their GP or hospital.

Last week saw 641,000 invitations sent out and a further 380,000 were due to be received this past weekend.

Another half a million will go out this week, NHS England has said.

People are being reminded however that they cannot simply turn up to a vaccination site and expect to be vaccinated.

You must have an appointment otherwise you will not be given the vaccine.

It comes as the Government urged the public to “play their part” in supporting “the largest vaccination programme in British history”, including helping the elderly attend their appointments.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people to commit to three pledges to “help out”, “join up” and “stay informed” during ongoing efforts to vaccinate, run clinical trials and share accurate health advice.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), around 45% of those aged 80 and over in England have already been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The 10 new mass vaccination sites opening from today include:

  • Taunton Racecour, Somerset
  • Blackburn Cathedral, Lancashire
  • Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough, Berkshire
  • Norwich Food Court, Norfolk,
  • The Lodge, Wickford, Essex
  • Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire
  • St Helens Rugby Ground, Merseyside
  • The park-and-rise at Askham Bar, York
  • Olympic Office Centre, Wembley, North London

Essex Live