Bedfordshire residents aged 75 and over are amongst those being invited to book a coronavirus vaccination at one of two new vaccination centres to open in the area this week.
Today, Monday 1 February, a centre opens at Bedford Heights in Manton Way. It will be joined by another centre later in the week Priory House in Shefford.
Tim Pain, director of Verve Developments Ltd, the owners of Bedford Heights, said:
“We are pleased to have been able to support the NHS in the delivery of the nationwide vaccination programme against COVID-19 and welcome heartily the opening of the Bedfordshire community vaccination centre here at Bedford Heights on 1st February 2021.
“We wholeheartedly support the vaccination programme and look forward to being able to help in some way towards the fight against COVID-19.”
People aged 75 and over are being invited to book a vaccination at these centres or at one of more than 70 pharmacy services now operating across the country.
If someone cannot or does not want to travel to a vaccination centre when they are invited, they can still wait to have their vaccination at a local GP service or hospital hub.
As well as the vaccination centres and pharmacy vaccination services, there are now more than 1,000 GP services and over 250 hospital sites offering vaccinations in England.
Health and social care staff working in Bedfordshire will also be able to receive their vaccination at either Bedford Heights or Priory House.
Both these vaccination centres are being run by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT).
HCT has set the centres up with the support of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups, Bedfordshire Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Verve Developments Ltd and local volunteers.
Dr Sarah Whiteman, the medical director and putative Chair of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs, said:
“We have been working hard with our partner organisations in the lead up to opening these centres. We can now welcome local people in the prioritised age groups with confirmed appointments to receive their vaccine, along with health and social care workers from across our area.
“This represents a big step forward in helping to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. My sincere thanks go to everyone, volunteers, partners and NHS staff who have worked around the clock to deliver this programme.”
“This new centre at Bedford Heights joins Kings House and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines in Bedford Borough, and will make it easier for people to get vaccinated locally which is great news.”
Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for Public Health and Wellbeing at Bedford Borough, agreed:
“I’m so pleased that Bedford Borough residents will have a new vaccination centre from Monday, and would urge anyone who has been invited to book an appointment to do so.”