Dozens queue up for their jabs at Blackburn Catherdral vaccination centre despite health chief warning

Dozens of people have queued outside Blackburn Cathedral today to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations despite a health chief warning against it.

By James Graves
Sunday, 31st January 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st January 2021, 4:54 pm

In a video sent to the Lancashire Post hoards of residents could been seen circling the Cathedral while trying to maintain social distancing.

One eyewitness told the Post there was "huge queues winding around the building".

It comes as a Lancashire health chief has warned people to only arrive at the time of their appointment and not early.

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Dozens of people line up outside Blackburn

Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 vaccination director for NHS Lancashire, said: "If you, your friends or relatives are attending an appointment for your Covid vaccine it is really important that, where possible, you arrive at the time of your appointment and not early. This will help to support safe social distancing and reduce the likelihood of yourself and others having to queue."

The large-scale centre first opened its doors on Monday, January 18 and the Dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Howell-Jones said it offered "a sign of hope" and the cathedral community was "delighted" to be able to host the vaccination centre.

He said: "Of course, church buildings generally are perceived as places that are welcoming and signs of hope so it just comes together in a really positive way for us."

He added: "This is most unusual for the cathedral to be embracing.

"Clearly we use the building in a whole variety of ways normally, we have concerts in here, we have exhibitions, we have markets and, of course, we have acts of public worship but never before have we been used in this way as a vaccination centre or anything working with the medical professionals so it’s a real wonderful first for us here at Blackburn Cathedral today.”

One of the first to receive their vaccines in the crypt was 82-year-old John Mason, who said the process was "easy peasy".