A new large scale Covid-19 vaccination centre will open at the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth on Thursday, 29 April, as part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.
The centre provides an additional option to the large-scale vaccination centres already delivering vaccines in Downham Market, Harleston, Kings Lynn, Norwich, Attleborough, North Walsham and Lowestoft; and the hubs already successfully delivering vaccinations in local hospitals and in GP practices across the county.
Its launch comes as people aged 42 and over began to be invited to book their COVID-19 jab from today, Tuesday 27 April, with latest figures showing that more than two thirds of people aged 45 to 49 have now been vaccinated.
Paul Morris, Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the James Paget University Hospital, which is co-ordinating the delivery of the Market Gates vaccination centre, said: “We are delighted to be launching a large-scale vaccination centre at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth, joining the centres already successfully delivering life-saving vaccines across Norfolk and Waveney.
“It’s more than four months since we opened the vaccination hub at our hospital, which has played a key role in the local effort to deliver vaccinations to both NHS staff and priority groups.
“With the opening of the new centre, we are not only increasing vaccination capacity in Norfolk and Waveney but are also delivering this vital service from an easily accessible town centre site.”
The James Paget has worked in partnership with the East Norfolk Medical Practice to set up and staff the new centre, with support from Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Market Gates Shopping Centre.
“It has been a real team effort,” added Mr Morris. “I would like to say thank you to all involved in transforming a shop premises into a fully-functioning vaccination centre in the space of just a few weeks.”
Dr Karen Mitchell, from the East Norfolk Medical Practice, said: “East Norfolk Medical Practice is proud to be partnering the James Paget on this initiative, which will increase the opportunity for local people to access vaccination.
“Over 18,000 vaccines have been delivered to our practice patients so far, from our existing vaccination sites including Nelson, Park and Newtown surgeries as well as in people’s own homes, and we now look forward to contributing to the delivery of vaccines from this easily accessible central site to benefit our local population.”
Melanie Craig, Chief Executive, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group added: “The vaccination programme in Norfolk and Waveney continues to go really well with almost a quarter of adults having now received their second doses. NHS staff and volunteers across our region are doing the most incredible job and I would like to pay tribute to every single person who is playing a part in the largest vaccination drive in our history.
“Opening up an additional large-scale vaccination centre will help us to reach even more people as the programme continues to expand, giving even more people the opportunity to have their vaccine.”
The new vaccination centre at Market Gates is currently only available to people from priority groups who have a booked appointment.
If you are eligible for the vaccine, you can use the NHS national booking service online at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 (free), between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
All other people outside eligible groups should wait to be contacted.
This week, appointments will be available on Thursday and Friday from 11am to 7.30pm; and then on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.
The new vaccination centre is in the former BrightHouse store, which is situated at the far end of the shopping mall, immediately next to the entrance/exit to the car park.