A MASS Covid-19 vaccination centre is due to open in Darlington next week.

Darlington MP Peter Gibson and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen both posted the news on social media.

Mr Gibson said: “After weeks of anticipation the NHS Vaccination Centre will open next week at the Darlington Arena. (Stadium)

“If you have received your letter from the NHS inviting you to a national centre then we will have one on our doorstep from next week.”

The Northern Echo arena was used for a drive-through flu vaccination programme last year.

The roll-out of the vaccine will continue at Feethams House, in the town centre.

A vaccination site opened at the Arnison Centre in Durham this week, joining those at the Centre for Life in Newcastle and Washington.

Mr Houchen said he was pushing for another centre in Middlesbrough or Redcar to make it easier for people from Teesside to get the jab.

The NHS has set up hospital hubs at James Cook University Hospital and North Tees Hospital as well as in GP surgeries and two high street pharmacies, but so far, no large-scale mass vaccination centre has been established on Teesside. 

Mr Houchen said: “I’m pleased that the Darlington vaccination centre will be opening very soon, but we still need a centre in Teesside that’s why in the last week I’ve had a number of meetings with vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi to push the case for getting a centre up a running in Teesside as quickly as possible.

“The NHS and our armed forces have done an absolutely phenomenal job across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to get all of the over-70s and the extremely vulnerable vaccinated.

“But, with the Government now having an even more ambitious jab target of giving every adult in the country their first coronavirus vaccine shot by July 31st even more centres will be needed.

“With hundreds of thousands of jabs now needing to be administered in a very short period of time, now is the right time for a dedicated mass vaccination centre to be opened in Teesside.

“Teesside smashed every target in the first phase of the vaccine rollout, becoming the quickest region to give the jab to all over 80s, and with a new jab centre we can do the same again with the wider population.”

Those eligible for the jab can book an appointment by visiting www.nhs.uk  

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