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V-day! Birmingham Millennium Point opens as NHS Vaccination Centre today – Birmingham Live

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/v-day-birmingham-millennium-point-19598641

Millennium Point opens as an NHS Vaccination Centre today – providing potentially life-saving jabs for pensioners and medics.

It is one of seven UK sites where tens of thousands of the vaccines will be delivered each week.

And the NHS is promising dozens more locations for people to get the jabs as Covid cases continue to soar.

The first in line for the injections at Millennium Point today will be people aged 80, along with health and care staff.

Millennium Point in Birmingham

Millennium Point in Birmingham

Hundreds more GP-led and hospital services are also due to open this week along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites.

The launch follows warnings yesterday that seven hospital across the Midlands are ‘fully stretched’, while the number of teachers testing positive for Covid has soared to 300 per cent above average.

Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS’s national medical director, said: “Increasing supplies means the NHS can open even more vaccination services and protect even more people this week.”

“While my NHS colleagues are working hard to ensure we can offer vaccines to all of those who would benefit most over the next month, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it, we need the public to help us.

“Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you. When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments.

“And whether you have had a vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you can’t.”

The Millennium Point vaccine centre will be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling its operations up and down according to vaccine supply and demand.

Letters are being sent out to more than 600,000 people across the UK aged 80 who live up to a 45 minute drive from one of the new centres, inviting them to book an appointment.

The six other Vaccination Centres opening this week are:

• Excel Centre in London (London)

• Ashton Gate in Bristol (South West)

• Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)

• Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)

• Etihad Tennis Club in Manchester (North West)

• The Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne (North East and Yorkshire)

The initial sites were chosen from those ready to vaccinate large numbers of people quickly to give a geographical spread covering as many people as possible.

What will happen if you attend the Millennium Point NHS Vaccination Centre

Invites to book at the centres are being sent to people aged 80 or over who have not yet been vaccinated and live up to 45mins drive from Millennium Point.

The letters will explain how they can book a slot over the phone or online through the national booking service.

NHS leaders are urging people not to turn up at the centre or try to book without booking first.

Bookings will be staggered to allow social distancing. On arrival, people will be greeted and registered by volunteers who will marshal the car park.

They will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they receive their vaccine from a trained vaccinator, and then be observed for 15 minutes. The process should take well under an hour.

(Image: Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)

As well as offering additional options for the over-80s, the NHS Vaccine Centres will also help in the NHS’s drive to protect its own frontline staff as well as social care workers providing vital support in communities.

Trained volunteers from both St John Ambulance and the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme alongside NHS staff will be deployed at these new sites, more than 80,000 of who have completed the clinical training needed to administer vaccines so far.

How ‘biggest vaccination programme in NHS history’ is being delivered

There are already almost 1,000 vaccination sites across the country.

The vast majority, almost 800, are GP-led services and they are expected to deliver most of the vaccinations.

The Millennium Point centre, and others like it across the UK, are an additional option for people, who can book an appointment through the national booking service online or over the phone.

If it is not convenient for them, they can instead be jabbed at one of their local vaccination centres in the coming weeks.

People are being told to wait until they are invited and should not call their GP but use the booking line.

If an appointment has already been offered by the GP, people can choose which appointment suits them best.

The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in the health service’s history, is being delivered as health service staff are treating record numbers of seriously ill patients with covid, caused by rapidly rising infection numbers.