Norfolk's first mass Covid vaccination centre to open in food court

Castle Quarter during COVID19 lock down. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Norfolk's first mass Covid-19 vaccination centre will be based in the food court at Norwich's Castle Quarter shopping centre. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The county's first large-scale vaccination centre will open on Monday – the first of 13 expected to be opened across Norfolk and Waveney in the coming weeks and months.

Norwich will host one of the 10 new sites set to open in England from Monday, which will add to 20 centres already operating in Norfolk and Waveney.

The city's vaccination site will be based in the food court of the Castle Quarter shopping centre.

On Twitter, the shopping centre said it was "proud" to be supporting the roll-out.

It said: "We’re proud to be supporting the NHS deliver Covid-19 vaccinations from tomorrow as part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.  

"Please only visit us if you have a booked appointment."

The other nine to open on Monday will be based in Blackburn, Bournemouth, Lincolnshire, Slough, St Helens, Taunton, Wickford in Essex, York and Wembley, north London.

NHS England said the 17 sites in use from Monday will be augmented by 1,000 GP-led surgeries and more than 250 hospitals already providing jabs.

Please do not attend a centre without an appointment or call your GP to arrange a jab - you will be contacted

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People aged 80 or over, who live up to a 45-minute drive from a centre, are being offered the choice of arranging a jab at one of the 17, or at a pharmacy site through the national booking service.

Anyone not wanting to travel can wait to be contacted by their GP-led vaccination service or hospital.

Vaccines will be administered by appointment only. People are being asked not to get in touch with their hospital or GP to arrange an appointment, or turn up unexpectedly at the vaccination site.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said the NHS vaccination programme had got off to a "strong start" with more than three million vaccinated, including "more than a third of those aged 80 or over".

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), around 45% of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinated.

Charlotte Stokoe, physician associate, checks the sodium chloride before mixing with the Pfizer-BioN

A mass vaccination centre is coming to Norfolk this week. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Meanwhile, the public is being urged to continue practising social distancing and following coronavirus-related government guidance.

DHSC said people could back "the national effort" by committing to the Government's pledges request.

The department said they can "help out" through supporting family and friends attend vaccine appointments or becoming an NHS volunteer responder, and "join up" to Covid-19 treatment clinical trials.

People can also help others "stay informed" by sharing accurate NHS advice and being alert for Covid vaccine scams.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "Throughout this pandemic, I have been in awe of how much the British public has contributed to the fight against the virus. I want to thank everyone for the time, effort and patience they have put in to keep themselves and others safe.

"We recognise that so many people want to support our NHS so health and care workers can continue to save lives, and now is your chance to get involved by helping the remaining people aged 80 and over get their jabs.

"I urge everyone, no matter who you are, what you do or where you're from, to come forward and take on our three pledges.

"Everyone has a part to play in this national effort - to protect our NHS, our loved ones and other people's loved ones too."

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