Chorley's walk-in vaccine clinic now open
A walk-in vaccination clinic in Chorley town centre has opened earlier than planned.
As the Post and Guardian revealed last week, the pop-up centre had been due to come into operation on or shortly after 21st June.
However, Lancashire and South Cumbria's integrated care system has tweeted this morning (Sunday 20th) that the facility - which is located in the Friday Street car park - has now opened its doors.
On-demand jabs – subject to availability – will be given out from an articulated lorry, seven days a week between 8am and 1pm and 2pm and 8pm.
First and second doses of the Pfizer jab and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are available - although second jabs are only open to people who received their first at least eight weeks previously.
While it is a walk-in clinic, people can still book an appointment slot via this link if they choose.
All over-18s are now eligible for a vaccine after the government extended invites to the entire adult population last week.
It is expected that the Friday Street facility will operate from the site for several weeks. There are also plans to set up a vaccine hub at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital in the weeks to come.
The additional facilities were announced after Chorley MP and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was concerned that, in spite of Lancashire being given “enhanced response status” last week – entitling it to surge testing and a push to drive up vaccination amongst eligible groups – no new vaccine facilities had yet been established in the borough.
He told the Post and Chorley Guardian that he had raised the issue directly with the health secretary, Matt Hancock.
Responding last week to the news that a mobile hub was to be set up, Sir Lindsay said: “I’ll continue to push for resources to be located in Chorley so we can defeat the virus.
“With the number of children currently self-isolating, it’s essential that people are vaccinated as swiftly as possible so that we can return to some form of normality at some point in the near future.”
Parklands High School in Chorley closed earlier this week because of an “unsustainable” number of Covid cases amongst its students. It will reopen on 21st June. It has also been announced that Southlands High School in the borough will move to remote learning between 21st and 25th June after 32 students tested positive for Covid.
Last week, South Ribble Borough Council’s leader Paul Foster called for additional vaccine centres in his district, saying that residents without a car were being disadvantaged.
Walk-in vaccine slots are currently available in Preston at the vaccination site in St. John’s Shopping Centre and Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club. It is understood that such services are proving popular in all areas of Lancashire where they have been set up.
Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said of the new services coming to Chorley: “We are working hard to ensure that people have more opportunities to get their vaccination at a time and place that suits them and would encourage everyone to come forward and arrange an appointment as soon as they are eligible.
“We are exceptionally grateful to all of our staff and partners working hard on the delivery of the vaccination programme and want to thank each and every one of them for their commitment and dedication to date, which has been key to the success of the programme so far,” Ms. Scattergood added.