New Covid-19 mass vaccination centre set to open in Burnley 'within weeks'

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A large-scale vaccination centre, based in Burnley's Charter Walk shopping centre, is set to open its doors as part of the national fight against Covid-19.

According to the official NHS England website the new centre had been scheduled to open today (February 8th), but that has now been delayed.

People who are eligible, live within 45 minutes’ drive from the vaccination site and who have not already been vaccinated by their GP-led service or hospital hub, will receive letters from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, explaining how they can book their appointment once the centre opens.

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Preparations have been taking place to convert an empty retail unit for NHS use at the Charter Walk shopping centre. It is highly likely vaccinations will begin at the site within weeks.

Preparations have been taking place for weeks to convert an empty retail unit for NHS usePreparations have been taking place for weeks to convert an empty retail unit for NHS use
Preparations have been taking place for weeks to convert an empty retail unit for NHS use

In a statement issued to the Burnley Express, Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 vaccination director for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System said: “As the expansion of the Covid vaccination programme continues to gather pace, we are planning to open a large-scale site in Burnley in the coming weeks. GPs, nurses, pharmacists, other staff, and volunteers are working hard behind the scenes to get the site ready. As with other vaccination services, people should wait to be invited by the NHS.

“The rollout of the vaccine and establishing these sites involves a wide range of organisations working together. We need to thank the significant support to the NHS to deliver the Covid vaccination programme from our wider partners including Cumbria County Council, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, our district councils, the military, police, local businesses and many more.”

Burnley Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend welcomed the news. He said: "It's excellent news that we are getting a new Covid-19 vaccination site in Burnley. Vaccination is the way we will defeat Covid and get out of this pandemic and back to normal. This site will build on the hard work being done by local health staff and volunteers to roll out the vaccination programme across our borough as quickly and effectively as possible. I'd urge everyone, as soon as it's their turn, to get vaccinated."

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Meanwhile, Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham, said: "The Government is always looking for new vaccination centres to support the roll-out, as part of the plan to protect residents across Burnley, Padiham, and the whole country, and this is something I have been speaking to the Vaccine Deployment Minister about for a number of weeks. I'm pleased that the further site in Burnley is now looking very likely, ready for when supply of the vaccine increases further, and I'll continue to make our case to Ministers.

People will be directly contacted by the NHS when it is their turn for the vaccination and should not contact their GP for this.