The Mill Arts & Events Centre in Rayleigh is to open as a large-scale vaccination centre as the NHS continues to accelerate its vaccination programme across Essex.
The centre is the eighth to open its doors to deliver the vaccines in the county and one of more than 100 open nationally. More large vaccination centres will be going live across Essex in the coming weeks.
Leader of Rochford District Council, Cllr Simon Wootton, said: “The Mill Arts & Events Centre has been closed for much of the pandemic so I am pleased we have been able to work with the NHS in putting it to good use, providing a vaccinations service which will be of benefit to the whole community.
“The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is an important step in the fight against the virus and, as a council, we are very proud that we have been able to play our part.
“In future, this site will continue to serve our residents with the creation of a new community centre, which is now due to open its doors in the Autumn of 2022.”
People in the top four priority groups including people aged 70 and over and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can book to be vaccinated at the centre, alternatively they can choose a community pharmacy or wait to be contacted by their local GP-led vaccination service or hospital hub.
Nigel Leonard, Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), which is coordinating the vaccination centres across Suffolk and North East Essex and Mid and South Essex, said: “Despite the weather conditions this week, we are delighted to be able to open the doors to another vaccination centre in Essex to continue to accelerate our vaccination programme to protect more people across the county.
“A huge thank you to my NHS colleagues, partners and everyone involved for getting this centre ready quickly.’
The NHS is urging people only to come to a vaccination centre if they have a booked appointment and to arrive no more than five minutes before their booking.