COVID vaccination centre opens in Thundersley

Another large scale COVID-19 vaccination centre opens its doors today (March 17) as the local vaccination programme continues to expand its capacity to protect the community.

Runnymede Hall in Kiln Road, Thundersley, will be the 14th large vaccination centre opened by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) in the last nine weeks.

The new centre opens after the NHS launched a renewed drive this week to protect the vulnerable with underlying conditions such as diabetes and some forms of cancer. GPs have already been inviting those with the conditions from their patient lists, but the NHS is now texting them with a link enabling them to arrange a jab at a vaccination centre or pharmacy-led service at a touch of a button.

Melissa Dowdeswell, EPUT’s operational director for the vaccination programme across mid and south Essex, said: “We are delighted to be able to open another vaccination centre in Essex – Runnymede Hall offers our local community more choice at a time as more vaccine supplies come online.”

If people prefer not to travel to a vaccination centre or pharmacy-led site, they can choose to wait to be invited by a local GP-led service. NHS staff are also visiting those who are housebound and unable to travel to their local service or vaccination centre.

Runnymede Hall will be offering vaccinations to all those in the eligible groups including people aged 55 and over and unpaid carers.

More than 19 million people across England have now received a life-saving COVID vaccination. Runnymede Hall is one of more than 1600 vaccination sites across the country, and 99 per cent of the country lives within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.

Cllr Jeffrey Stanley, Leader of Castle Point Borough Council, said: “We welcome the new vaccination centre at Runnymede Hall. This will be so valuable in ensuring that vaccinations can be delivered to our community conveniently and quickly.

“We are pleased to have assisted our partners in the NHS in getting this vaccination centre up and running here in Castle Point.”

Text messages are being sent using the Government’s secure Notify service and will show as being sent from ‘NHSvaccine’.

The NHS is urging people only to come to the vaccination centre if they have a booked appointment and to arrive no more than five minutes before their booking.

Mick Ferris

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