First People Receive Jabs At New Mass Vaccination Centres
People have started to receive their coronavirus jabs at the first mass vaccination centres after they opened today, with new sites in Bristol, Surrey, London, Newcastle, Manchester, Stevenage and Birmingham.
The centres have the capacity to vaccinate four people a minute, prioritising the elderly and healthcare workers first.
They will also be joined by hundreds more GP and pharmacy sites this week, taking the total number of vaccination points to around 1,200.
Moira Edwards, 88, was the first person to receive a jab at Epsom racecourse in Surrey, saying she felt it was 'extremely important' to get the vaccine.
Edwards, from Cobham in Surrey, received her first dose beside her daughter Clare, adding: "Having this vaccine makes it a step closer to being with my family again and giving them a big hug."
Bristol's vaccination centre is at Ashton Gate football stadium, London's is at the Excel Centre where the city's Nightingale hospital is based, Newcastle's is at the Centre for Life, Manchester's is at the Etihad Campus in the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, the one in Stevenage at Robertson House and Birmingham's at Millennium Point.
According to the BBC, some 600,000 invites were due to be sent out over the weekend to people aged 80 or older living up to a 45-minute drive from one of the new regional centres.
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The government aims to vaccinate two million people a week, with a total of 13 million in the top four priority groups to receive their jabs by mid-February.
It comes amid warnings that the UK could be going through its 'most dangerous time', with England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty urging people to minimise all unnecessary contact.
Whitty warned that the next few weeks will be 'the worst' of the pandemic for the NHS, saying there were more than 30,000 people in the NHS with coronavirus, compared to around 18,000 at the peak last April.
Whitty told BBC Breakfast: "This is everybody's problem. Any single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person."
He said that 'anybody who is not shocked' by the number of people in hospital 'has not understood this at all', adding: "This is an appalling situation."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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