COVID-19: Locations of seven mass vaccination centres revealed
The locations of seven mass vaccination centres that will open next week have been revealed by the government.
They are: Robertson House in Stevenage; the ExCel Centre in London; the Centre for Life in Newcastle; the Etihad Tennis Centre in Manchester; Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey; Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol and Millennium Point in Birmingham.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman said he expected the COVID-19 vaccination centres to be run by a combination of NHS staff and volunteers.
According to the Press Association, other facilities under consideration include Derby Arena; the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley; Malvern’s Three Counties’ Showground, Worcestershire; Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC; and Leicester Racecourse.
The Morrisons supermarket chain has confirmed that car parks at stores in Yeovil, Wakefield and Winsford will host drive-through vaccinations from Monday, with another 47 offered up.
In addition, Premier League side Tottenham have offered the use of their north London stadium to the NHS as a venue to roll out the vaccine.
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern and G-A-Y, also in London, have offered to support the vaccination drive.
When he announced a third national lockdown in England on Monday, the prime minister also set a target of offering vaccines to the most vulnerable in the UK by the middle of February.
Mr Johnson said inoculating the almost 14 million people in the top four priority groups would allow the government to begin considering easing restrictions.
A total of 1.3 million doses have been administered throughout the UK so far.
Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, the PM said the government will use “every available second” of the shutdown to place an “invisible shield” around elderly and vulnerable people through the rollout of vaccines.
Declaring that the UK was now engaged in a “sprint” to vaccinate those at a higher risk before coronavirus can reach them, he urged the public to “give our army of vaccinators the biggest head start we possibly can”.
Mr Johnson said the emergence of multiple vaccines has given the UK “not only the sight of the finish line, but a clear route to get there”.
But in order to “win this race for our population”, the PM said people “must once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”.
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He said there were now almost 1,000 vaccination centres across the country, adding this included “595 GP-led sites, with a further 180 opening later this week, and 107 hospital sites – with another 100 later this week”.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News earlier that the target would require a “Herculean effort”.
“It is a stretching target no doubt, but I’m confident that with this plan that the NHS have put together that we will deliver this,” he said.
The government has previously said the NHS has the capacity to deliver two million vaccinations a week, but Mr Zahawi acknowledged that more doses would need to be rolled out to meet the target.
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