Kents third mass coronavirus vaccination centre set to launch in Tonbridge leisure complex – Kent Live

Kent is ramping up its vaccine roll out further as the location for the third mass vaccination site has been announced.

The Angel Centre in Tonbridge will begin its vaccinations next week as the NHS looks to speed the roll out in the South East.

The leisure complex was forced to temporarily close as a result of pandemic restrictions tightening across the country, but will now re-open to deliver the life-saving jab.

This comes after the former Debenhams store in Folkestone opened its doors last month, and a new centre in Gravesend is set to start administering vaccines tomorrow (February 2).

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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) has been co-ordinating and leading the large vaccination centres in Kent and in Medway.

KCHFT Chief Executive Paul Bentley said: “Opening our third vaccination centre in as many weeks shows just how committed we are to protecting our most vulnerable communities, as our vaccination drive continues to accelerate.

“I want to pay tribute to all our teams – the people who have come out of retirement to support our efforts, those who have booked extra shifts in addition to their day job and to the rest of our NHS team, which continues to care for a very large number of people who are seriously ill with COVID.

“We also couldn’t do this without the support of our partners. So I want to record a huge thank you to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and our leisure partners for use of the centre.

“I also want to thank Greg Clark, Laura Trott and Tom Tugendhat – the three local MPs who have helped this centre to be open to the public in such a short time. Together, we will beat this virus.”

The new Tonbridge centre will also be the first mass vaccination centre to open in west Kent, providing the county with more coverage from the roll out.

Over-70’s will initially be prioritised as the service gets underway, but this will extend further over the coming weeks and months as more people are vaccinated.

There is also the option to receive your dose at a hospital or GP service if you would prefer this.

You simply ignore the letter about booking an appointment at the larger centre and wait to be contacted again.

However people are being reminded that they must be invited for a vaccine appointment – you cannot simply turn up expecting to be vaccinated.

Cllr Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, said: “I’m sure residents across west Kent will join me in thanking the NHS for creating this vital facility in our borough and for working with council colleagues and our leisure trust partners to get it up and running so soon.

“It’s a huge comfort to know that every jab provided at the Angel Centre will help save lives, protect our community and bring the pandemic under control.”

The new large-scale vaccine centres will each be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling their operations up and down according to vaccine supplies.

People who book into a vaccine centre will receive a pre-vaccination assessment before they receive their vaccine.

Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues. Anyone having the vaccine will need to wait for 15 minutes before driving.