Seven mass vaccination hubs open as United Kingdom faces dire warnings



The UK will go through the "most risky time" of the pandemic in the weeks before vaccine rollout has an impact.

The pop-up hub is the next step in the drive for mass COVID immunisation, created to add to the region's existing vaccination capacity, with further centres opening in the coming weeks.

Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS's national medical director, said: "Increasing supplies means the NHS can open even more vaccination services and protect even more people this week".

Volunteers from St John's Ambulance will be providing support for the smooth running of the centres in three different roles: fully trained vaccinators, post vaccination observers and patient advocates.

Moira Edwards, 88, became the first person to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at Epsom racecourse in Surrey at around 8.15am on Monday, describing it as "extremely important".

The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital has reached a record high in England, while the official Government coronavirus death toll for the United Kingdom passed 81,000 at the weekend and lab-confirmed cases hit more than three million.

Whilst the opening of mass-vaccination centres is seen as a positive step, there is confusion as to where people should go for their vaccine.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Those who receive the letter do not have to take one of those appointments if it is too far to travel and can wait for a local appointment if they would prefer".

Coronavirus: 604 new cases in Galway & 46 deaths reported today
The greater risk of infection posed by this new variant increases the risk of transmission of the disease in the community. There were 1,700 COVID-19 patients in hospital on Tuesday, nearly double the 2020 peak, the Irish health service said.

During the peak of the first outbreak in April, about 18,000 people were in hospital but now there are 30,000, Whitty said, adding the health service was facing "a significant crisis". "And whether you have had a vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives - that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the "hands, face, space" guidance when you can't".

The UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan sets out how the government will work with the NHS, devolved administrations, local councils and the armed forces to deliver the largest vaccination programme in British history.

The document says that "at least" 2 million vaccinations are expected to be administered in England on a weekly basis by the end of January, with all staff in care homes offered the vaccination before the start of February.

A 47-page document detailing the vaccine roll out was published on Monday by the Department of Health and Social Care, and explains that 2,700 vaccination sites are to be set up across the country in the near future.

The NHS has an online booking service which allows people over 80 to book their place at a mass vaccination centre, which you can find here.

It is now advising that you should use the tool if you have already received a letter inviting you to book your vaccination appointments.

To book your vaccination appointment, you will need your 10 digit NHS number, which should be included on your vaccine letter.

"Everybody says that this is the most unsafe time we've really had in terms of numbers into the NHS", he said.

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