Covid vaccine site set to open in Kettering
It's understood vaccinations could start as soon as next week
Some of the county's most vulnerable will soon be able to have a Covid-19 vaccination in Kettering.
Currently the only place in Northamptonshire where people are receiving the Pfizer jab is at Northampton General Hospital, which was one of 50 hospitals confirmed as a vaccine site on December 6.
But a number of vaccine hubs in the community will also be set up across the country, including at the car park at the back of Prospect House in Lower Street, Kettering.
The Northants Telegraph understands that vaccinations may even start there as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday next week, providing a huge boost to the north of the county, with 975 doses in an initial delivery.
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The car park, used by patients at both Weavers Medical Centre and Eskdaill Medical Centre, was due to be closed yesterday (Thursday) to prepare it to be a vaccination site.
It's understood the vaccination site will be a drive-thru, similar to the drive-thru flu jab clinic set up by Weavers Medical Centre in the town's Morrisons car park earlier this year.
The disabled bays will remain available to park in for GP surgery patients and people have been urged not to phone their practice about vaccinations as they will be contacted when they are eligible.
A statement on the Weavers Medical Centre website said: "Sorry for any inconvenience caused but we are sure you understand why this has become necessary. We thank you all for you support during this challenging period."
It's also understood there will be community vaccine sites in Corby and Wellingborough, although locations are yet to be confirmed.
Last night NHS England revealed ten more hospitals would become vaccine sites, including nearby Leicester's hospital trust, but Kettering General Hospital is yet to be announced as a site.
Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday in Coventry.
The Government's joint committee on vaccination and immunisation previously confirmed its priority list for the first phase of the UK's mass vaccine rollout.
Care home residents and their carers are at the front of the queue, followed by those aged 80 and over as well as frontline health and social care workers.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “The vaccination programme is a turning point for the country, and rightly NHS staff are prioritising those most at risk of the virus with the programme expanding over the coming months.
"So when the time comes for you to get your jab, the NHS will let you know and I strongly encourage you to accept the invite.”
The life-saving vaccine is given to patients in a simple shoulder injection, but getting it to patients from the manufacturers is a tough logistical challenge.
It needs to be stored at -70C before it's thawed and can only be moved a certain number of times ahead of it being used.
The Pfizer jab was found to be 95 per cent effective in mass trials.
People need to have two jabs, 21 days apart. Full immunity starts seven days after the second dose.
Earlier this week regulators told people with a history of significant allergic reactions not to have it as a precaution after two NHS workers suffered reactions after they had the vaccine on Tuesday. Both workers had a history of serious allergies but are recovering well after treatment.