Dozens of coronavirus vaccination sites open this weekend so people can 'grab a jab'
More than 40 walk-in coronavirus vaccination sites are being run by the NHS in the North West this weekend as people are urged to "grab a jab".
Dr Richard Preece, clinical lead for the vaccination programme in the region, said everyone aged 18 and over should use this weekend to get their first dose of the vaccine.
Sites include community centres, pharmacies, hospitals, health centres and mobile buses, with a full list found here. A similar weekend of walk-in clinics last week saw more than 118,000 people come forward for their jabs at one of the region’s vaccination services.
The walk-in clinics are additional to those already announced by NHS Wigan Borough CCG at centres in Wigan, Hindley and Leigh.
The NHS will shortly launch a new online service enabling people to enter their postcode and find their nearest walk-in site, and text messages will be sent to people living nearby who have not had their first dose yet.
Second doses will also be available, as long as it has been eight weeks since the first dose for people aged 40 and over and 12 weeks for people under 40.
The move comes as the NHS continues the final push to vaccinate everyone, now that every adult in the country is eligible for the jab.
More than eight million doses have already been given in the North West.
Dr Preece said: “It is just as important to get vaccinated now as it was on day one of the programme, and it has never been easier to walk in and grab your jab while you are out and about this weekend.
“We urge everyone who has not yet had their first dose to find the most convenient walk-in for them this weekend, because the more people who get the life-saving jab, the safer it is for everyone. You might want to visit one of the vaccination sites with your friends.”
A little more than a week since the system opened to everyone, more than a third of people aged 18 to 24 have been vaccinated.
More than one million appointments were booked last Friday and Saturday, an average of more than 21,000 every hour or six every second.
People who attend a walk-in clinic for their first dose will have their vaccination record updated online and will then be able to book their second dose appointment using the national booking system.
Dr Preece added: “We are in the final weeks of our world-leading vaccination programme, uptake has been fantastic locally and it’s been a privilege to help keep people safe and to see the smiles on people’s faces once they’ve had their jab.
“With everyone over 18 now eligible and plenty of walk-in sites open this weekend, if you haven’t booked your first dose yet then today should be the day you make that happen and play your part in keeping us all safe.”
Latest figures show the NHS in England has delivered more than 62 million vaccinations, just six months after Margaret Keenan received the approved vaccine in Coventry.
Four in five have now received their first dose of the jab, with three in five fully vaccinated after receiving two doses.
All adults can book at one of the 1,600 vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country available through the national booking service. Vaccination centres are also available in locations such as mosques, museums and football stadiums.
Text invitations appear as an alert from NHSvaccine and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
People aged 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with updated JCVI guidance