Hampshire and Isle of Wight’s first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centre opened its doors to the public today (Tuesday 26 January), meaning even more people will be able to get vaccinated as part of the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen.
The centre, which compliments vaccination provisions at GP-led and hospital services within the region, is run by Solent NHS Trust. It was operational from the beginning of January, vaccinating community health staff from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Today marks the expansion of the vaccination programme.
Solent NHS Trust will be opening three further public COVID-19 vaccination centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight within the next few weeks.
Vaccinations will be offered to people in line with recommendations from the Independent Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations. Initially, people aged 70 of over and clinically extremely vulnerable people, who live within 30 to 45 minutes of a vaccination centre, and haven’t already been vaccinated by their local GP led vaccination services or hospital hub, have been invited to receive their vaccine at the centre.
People do not need to contact the NHS as they will be invited to take up the vaccine when it is their turn. The centres operate on an appointment basis and people will not get vaccinated by just turning up. For most people, they will receive a letter either from their GP or the national booking system which will include all the information they need.
Dr Dan Baylis, Chief Medical Officer at Solent NHS Trust, said: "The opening of the centre in Millbrook to the public, which is just one of the four public vaccination centres we will be running across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, is another step towards coming out of the pandemic.
“Staff at the centre are capable of delivering thousands of life-saving jabs each week. I’m really proud to be part of an NHS community, full of people working really hard to offer vaccines, at the same time as providing care for vital services. “
People who book into a vaccine centres will be greeted by a dedicated team of clinicians, vaccinators, administrative staff and incredible volunteers who will help make a visit run as smoothly and safely as possible. Bookings are staggered to allow social distancing.
They will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.