Winter Gardens continues successful Covid vaccine rollout

Blackpool's Winter Gardens continues to play its part in the fight against Covid as hundreds of resort residents in their 40s flocked to get their jabs from last week.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:45 pm

It was announced today (Tuesday, April 27) that the NHS Covid vaccine booking system had opened to healthy people aged 42 and over.

The national booking system was extended for the second time in just two days, following yesterday's announcement that vaccine invitations would extend to those aged 44 or over.

Last week, people aged between 45 and 50 were invited to get the first dose of their jab.

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The Winter Gardens has been a mass Covid vaccination centre since January. Photo: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Blackpool's Winter Gardens has continued to host mass vaccinations since it opened as a centre in January, and Blackpool Council's director of Public Health Dr Arif Rajpura said he was pleased with the rollout there.

Dr Rajpura said: "At the moment the vaccination programme has so far gone really well, and once vaccine supplies improve we are ready and waiting and have plenty of capacity to do the rest of the adult population as soon as possible."

On the Fylde Coast, 90 per cent of people in cohorts one to nine (those aged 50 or above, clinically vulnerable, carers and front line health and social care staff) have received their first dose of a vaccine so far.

In total, some 67.2 per cent of all adults on Fylde Coast have received at least one dose.

Patients waiting to receive a Covid jab at the Winter Gardens last week. Photo: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

Anyone 42 and older, regardless of whether they have received a text message or not, can now book an appointment online or by calling 119, at one of the large vaccination centres in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, including the Winter Gardens, Moor Park Health and Fitness Centre, AFC Fylde, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Centre in St Annes or Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for the NHS in England, said: “Just two weeks after rolling out the vaccine to those aged 45 and over, we are now ready to invite those aged 42 and 43, as the largest vaccination programme in NHS history continues at speed.

“The rapid rollout of the NHS vaccination programme, the swiftest in Europe, hasn’t happened by accident, it is down to months of careful planning and sheer hard work by nurses, doctors and countless other staff supported by our volunteers.

“If you receive a text inviting you to book in for your jab, please follow the instructions provided, it is simple, effective and provides vital protection against the coronavirus.”