New Kettering Covid vaccine site to open as town's booster issue raised in Parliament

Many have had to travel to Corby or Northampton to get their top-up booster jab

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 29th November 2021, 2:47 pm

People will be able to have their Covid jab at a new site in Kettering next week after the town's booster availability was raised in the House of Commons.

Mr Pickford's Pharmacy, in St John's Road on the Ise Lodge estate, will start offering the vaccine to increase the number of local appointments in the area.

The announcement comes after the lack of booster jab appointments in the town was raised in the House of Commons by Kettering MP Philip Hollobone (Con).

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Many have had to travel to Corby or Northampton to get their top-up booster jab

He had asked health secretary Sajid Javid for a 'boost to the booster programme' because many in the constituency were having to travel to Corby or Northampton for their third jab, with few able to get an appointment in the town.

Now the Ise Lodge pharmacy will be offering vaccine appointments - although an opening date is yet to be confirmed - and options to increase availability at regular drop-in clinics are also being explored.

Anna Dorothy, deputy director of the Northamptonshire Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “We’re sorry that some people in the Kettering area have been experiencing difficulties accessing the Covid vaccine locally.

"However, we are pleased to confirm that a new vaccination site - Mr Pickford’s in St John’s Road - will be opening next week to increase local availability of bookable vaccine appointments in the area.

“We recognise that people appreciate the convenience and flexibility of not having to book an appointment in advance, and that’s why we are also exploring options to increase the availability of regular drop-in clinics in Kettering as quickly as we possibly can.

"Details of these clinics will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.”

The announcement comes as millions more people are expected to be told they can have a booster jab, which is currently only available to those aged over 40, those who work in health or care settings and those with certain underlying health conditions.

The booster jab is set to be rolled out to all over-18s to combat the new Omicron variant, which was first identified by South African scientists and has already been recorded in the UK.

The strain has a large number of mutations, leading to concerns it could be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines.

The variant also led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to re-introduce some Covid measures, including compulsory masks in shops and on public transport and PCR tests for travellers who arrive in the UK, for a period of three weeks.

- Bookable appointments in Kettering and around Northamptonshire can be accessed by visiting the NHS website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/) or by calling 119. The latest details of drop-in clinic availability around the county can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/covidvaccine.