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New vaccination centres to accelerate drive to protect Cheshire residents from COVID-19

Vaccination centres go live at Chester Racecourse and Alderley Park Conference Centre next week to help accelerate Cheshire’s drive to protect residents from COVID-19.

The new centres will complement the existing GP-led vaccination services, hospital hubs and pharmacy-led vaccination services across Cheshire and offer an additional option for people to get vaccinated – if it is convenient for them. If not, people can instead wait to be vaccinated at their local GP-led vaccination centre.

People aged 70 and above who haven’t had their COVID-19 vaccination can book an appointment now via www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, where they can choose a time slot and location that suits them.

People who are eligible, but without online access, can call 119 to book a jab free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. People are also able to book appointments on behalf of people they care for if they are unable to do it themselves.

All vaccination centres are staffed by clinicians, trained vaccinators, administrative staff and a range of volunteers who help make a visit run as smoothly and safely as possible.

Dr Anushta Sivananthan, Medical Director for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), which is operating the Racecourse vaccination centre, said: “NHS staff, other public sector colleagues and volunteers are doing an incredible job to deliver what is the largest vaccination programme in our history. CWP are proud to play our part at the Chester Racecourse vaccination site, supporting the existing centres with the top four priority groups and also, as vaccine eligibility is widened, beyond those groups in the coming weeks.”

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Louise Gittins, said: “This is fantastic news and a positive move forward. Let’s all play our part in this process and get vaccinated when invited. This past year has been a huge struggle for many people, and we can all help to turn this around by getting vaccinated and playing our part in the fight against the virus.”

Chief Executive of Chester Race Company, Richard Thomas, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support the NHS with their essential vaccination programme. We plan to offer our facilities for seven days a week, apart from race days, and our staff are proud to have the opportunity to support as volunteers.”

John Wilbraham, Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust, which is operating the Alderley Park vaccination centre, said: “NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care. We are pleased to be involved with our partners in the Alderley Park Conference Centre vaccination centre.”

Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Sam Corcoran, said: “I am delighted that this facility is available, giving local residents the option to use this as an alternative to GP-led vaccination hubs and local hospitals. The NHS are doing a commendable job, in extremely challenging times, ensuring everyone gets protection from this deadly virus.

“I thank all staff involved for their incredible hard work and I’d like to thank the residents of Cheshire East for their patience in waiting their turn for a jab and for continuing to do the right thing by keeping good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering where appropriate and for keeping a two-metre distance from others.”

Dr Kath Mackay, managing director at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park, said: “Alderley Park’s life science and tech campus has already played a huge role in the fight against COVID-19 after the opening of the Lighthouse Lab testing facility here last spring. We’re really proud that we’re now supporting the vaccination programme too, which is so crucial to our economic recovery and the path out of the pandemic.

“Close collaboration with the NHS is part and parcel of what we do every day, not just at Alderley Park but across the Bruntwood SciTech network. The vaccination centre is just another great example of our partnership in action.”

Interested in volunteering to support the NHS? The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme was set up by NHS England / Improvement in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. Sign up here: www.goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders