Covid-19 success: New vaccine centre opens at Biggleswade Hospital while Weatherley Centre celebrates 10k jab mark

Chronicle country is celebrating further milestones  in the battle against coronavirus, as a new vaccination centre opened its doors this week, whilst The Weatherley Centre reached the impressive 10,000 jabs mark.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:54 pm

Biggleswade residents aged 56 and over are amongst those being invited to book a coronavirus vaccination at Biggleswade Hospital, Potton Road, which began taking bookings on Monday, March 8.

This is the final large vaccination centre to open in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes area, and people aged 56-59 will receive a letter inviting them to be vaccinated.

A Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs spokeswoman said: “The vaccination centre at Biggleswade Hospital is being run by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) working with Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) partners, drawing on its proven track record of delivering local vaccination programmes in the east of England.

Biggleswade Hospital.

Volunteers from the Beds and Luton local volunteer service and the fire service have been crucial in setting up the site successfully.

“As with other centres, there are also several easyJet staff, who are a brilliant addition to the workforce, and the Red Cross supplying wheelchairs. Finally, but just as importantly, the King’s

Reach pub, next door to the hospital, has kindly offered their car park so that everybody can park close to the vaccination centre.”

Dr Sarah Whiteman, the medical director and putative chair of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs, said: “We have been working hard with our partner organisations in the lead-up to opening the centre.

“We can now welcome local people in the prioritised age groups with confirmed appointments to receive their vaccine, along with health and social care workers from across our area.

“This represents another step forward in helping to beat the Covid-19 pandemic. My sincere thanks go to everyone, volunteers, partners and NHS staff, who have worked around the clock to deliver this programme.”

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service, which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Health and social care staff working nearby will also be able to receive their vaccination at Biggleswade Hospital.

If the centre doesn’t appear as an option when trying to book, residents are advised to keep trying. As more and more appointments open up, the system will refresh itself over the forthcoming days.

Anyone attending for a vaccine appointment is asked to arrive just before the time of their appointment to avoid the need to wait to be seen and to help everyone to maintain social distancing at the vaccination centre.

As well as the vaccination centres and pharmacy vaccination services, there are now more than 1,000 GP services and over 250 hospital sites offering vaccinations in England.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, March 6, the vaccination site at The Weatherley Centre run by Jardines Pharmacy, reached an exciting milestone.

Commenting on its Facebook page on March 6, The Weatherley Centre stated: “As of today, over 10,000 vaccines have been administered at The Weatherley Centre since we opened our doors as a vaccination site. This is outstanding work.

“Well done to all of the team of vaccinators and volunteers, you are all incredible.”

Commenting on the Facebook post, one impressed lady said: “I was in there yesterday for my vaccine. It’s a well oiled machine. Everyone was upbeat and friendly. A credit to the cause!”

Another resident added: “Brilliant work guys, you always put extra effort into everything you do at The Weatherley,” while another Facebook user echoed this praise, stating: “Awesome work team Weatherley!”

One man said: “See you soon for [my] second dose.”

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