A NEW mass vaccine centre is to open in the heart of Rayleigh, administering thousands of jabs a week, MP Mark Francois has confirmed.
Mr Francois, Tory MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, has been lobbying NHS chiefs to get the new hub at the Mill Hall in Rayleigh.
The Mill Hall joins a list of major vaccination centres in south Essex, including one at the Cliffs Pavilion, in Westcliff, and another at NHS headquarters in Runwell.
Mr Francois said: “I have been lobbying NHS bosses to open such a centre for weeks, following reports that the hub was originally due to open in January but had been delayed.
“Last Wednesday, I subsequently took part in a one-hour Zoom meeting with the NHS during which I pressed hard for the new hub to open in Rayleigh as soon as possible.
“For their part, the NHS bosses were keen to point out that, once the centre opens, residents should wait to be contacted and called forward for their Covid jabs and should not merely turn up at random at the new centre, as this would only be likely to interrupt the efficient running of the vaccination programme.”
As of this weekend, more than 12 million UK citizens have received a least one jab of a Covid vaccine, compared to over three million in Germany and some two million in France.
Mr Francois added: “It is hoped that the new centre at the Mill Hall, which should be fully opened by next weekend, subject only to anticipated bad weather, will be able to administer thousands of Covid jabs a week, to further accelerate the roll out of the vital vaccination programme in Essex.
“This is truly excellent news about the Mill Hall being used as a new major vaccination hub…this should help to significantly boost the roll out of the crucial vaccination programme.”