Queues at North West covid vaccination sites as they open over Christmas

Correspondent Andy Bonner's been to the vaccination clinic at Blackburn Cathedral. 

There are reports of queues at a number of Covid vaccination centres in the North West after more then 80 walk-in sites opened across the region over Christmas.

There was even a warning about traffic congestion at the Etihad Vaccination centre on Monday 27 December as people came forward for their booster and vaccines.

Other centres across the region say they've been busy with a steady stream of people, including St John's Vaccination centre in Preston.

Pharmacies, shopping centres and sport venues have extended their opening times, giving people more opportunities to get vaccinated around their busy festive schedules.

Rates Hall in Manchester Town Hall, Charter Walk Shopping Centre in Burnley, Totally Wicked Rugby Stadium in St Helens and Vicars Cross Vaccination Centre in Chester are some of the sites across the region offering walk-in jabs over the festive period.

Several pharmacies are offering jabs

A small number of sites are vaccinating on Christmas and Boxing Day including Everest Pharmacy in Manchester. Not all sites will be open every day and it’s advised to check opening times before you attend using the NHS grab a jab webpage.

Through December, more than 80 additional hyper-local pop up vaccine clinics have also been set up in general practices, pharmacies and community venues, some of them for just a few days and others running to the end of the year and beyond.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the North West, said: “As the NHS continues to protect as many people as possible from the new Omicron variant, we’re making it easier than ever for people to get vaccinated.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu

“Those eligible for either their first, second or booster dose can grab a jab at a variety of walk-in sites across the region that are open this week.

Those who prefer to book an appointment, can do so using the national booking service or by calling 119.

The NHS has invited people who have a vaccination booking for the new year to bring it forward in a bid to increase protection against the virus.

If people do change their appointment or attend a walk-in sites instead, it is advised to cancel your original booking to make sure someone else can get their life-saving jab.

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