A large vaccination centre is set to open in Cumbria adding more capacity to the NHS in the county.
The centre will open at Penrith Auction Mart today. NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said the take-up of the vaccine has been strong, with nine out of 10 people aged 65 or over being immunised so far.
Nine out of ten older care home residents, and large numbers of frontline health and care staff, people over 65, as well as adults with long term health conditions, all receiving their first vaccine.
The trust says it is well on track to reach the national targets of vaccinating all over 50s by the middle of
April and all adults by the end of July.
In North Cumbria, about 140,000 vaccinations have been administered. This has been mainly through eight primary care networks vaccinating from 9 hubs run by local GP practices, alongside hospitals hubs and community pharmacy.
The Penrith Vaccination site will be known as the Penrith Auction Mart Vaccination Centre Skirsgill Lane, Penrith.
The Penrith Auction Mart has an open accessible location, with good parking and good connections to the A66 and M6.
Five days a week
The centre will operate from 9am to 5pm, five days a week.
People who receive invitations from the National Booking Service run by NHS England can attend Large Vaccination Centres. People receive a letter and are invited to book either online or by calling 119 free of charge between 7am and 11pm – only people invited to book can do so.
Professor Neil Watson, chief operating officer for the NHS COVID vaccination programme for the North East and north Cumbria said: “Already the NHS across our region has done, and continues to do, an amazing job getting as many people as possible vaccinated, as quickly as possible.”
“I’d like to pay tribute to every single person who is playing a part – the work you have done has been phenomenal and without you, a million people across our region would not have been vaccinated.
“Opening up the sixth vaccination centre in the region helps us to reach even more people as the programme continues to expand, giving even more people the opportunity to have their vaccine.”
He added: “We are constantly delighted by how much people want to help us with the vaccination efforts, in particular our grateful thanks to staff in the local authorities, public transport providers, local police, and of course our ever-growing army of volunteers and staff.
“We know it’s the way we can all have hope that we can all get back to normal and see the end of this awful situation.”
Director of primary care
Ed Tallis, director of primary care for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It is great news that we have another option for people to receive their vaccine in north Cumbria and we are grateful for the support of our NHS colleagues in the North East and the many people who have helped make this happen, especially the volunteers who play such a key role in making this work.
“We have already delivered the first vaccine to half of our eligible population, mainly through our primary care teams who have been working unbelievably hard and our community pharmacy colleagues. This centre at Penrith will help us keep up this fantastic progress.”
It is16 weeks since the NHS gave the first Covid jab outside the clinical trials. NHS England are now inviting everyone aged 50 and over to have their vaccination. This will be either by letter or through a text alert from the National Booking Service.
Two local GP vaccination services are focusing initially on the clinically vulnerable from cohort six (those aged 16 to 64) because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care.
Prof Watson continued: “We know people are very keen to have their vaccine but remember it might be more convenient to wait for your local vaccination service run by GPs to get in touch. People should not be worried, there is enough vaccine supply to make sure that everyone who wants to have a vaccination can do so.”
People who receive a NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service invite and prefer to attend their local GP vaccination service or who have already received the jab do= not need to respond to their national booking service invitation.
Public health director
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “The opening of the Penrith site is another step in the direction of normality. The centre builds on the excellent work by the primary care networks and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is helping to reduce rates of serious illness and save lives, which is why it’s vital everyone who is invited for a vaccine comes forward.
“Please remember that once you’ve received your vaccine it will take three weeks for your body to build up protection.
“It’s vital to continue following national guidelines even after your jab to protect those around you. These include social distancing, practising good hand and respiratory hygiene and wearing a face covering when required.”