Mass vaccination centre set to open at Black Country Living Museum next week

A mass vaccination centre is set to open at the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) next week.

The Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum

The site in Dudley has been lined up as a vaccination hub since before Christmas, and sources have now confirmed it will open on Monday.

It will be one of the biggest centres in the region, offering the jab on an appointment-only basis to hundreds of people each day. It will play a key role in the Government's plans to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February.

The first seven mass vaccination centres opened on January 11, including Birmingham's Millennium Point, while Lichfield Cathedral has also opened as a hub.

A further 10 sites were announced by the Government at the start of this week, although the BCLM was not featured on the list.

Professor David Loughton, chief executive of The Royal Wolverhampton's NHS Trust, recently said that the opening of the BCLM site was "fairly imminent" and that a number of other centres around the region were also in the pipeline.

Irene Paterson, aged 91, from Lichfield receives the vaccine from Rachel Fletcher at Lichfield Cathedral

Ministers have also announced that another 65 pharmacy sites will start delivering the jab, including Pharmacy Xpress in Dudley.

New figures show that 756,433 vaccine doses were given in the Midlands up to January 17, including 691,549 first doses. In the Black Country 87,090 first doses have been administered – the highest number in the region.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said: "The success of this rollout out will boost people’s confidence and will certainly be welcomed by businesses who have had such a tough time.

"This will save people’s lives and will no doubt have a really positive impact on people’s mental health and general wellbeing."

Meanwhile calls have been made for police and teachers to be pushed to the front of the queue for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, which is currently being given to the most vulnerable people first according to a nine-point priority list.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said he wants officers and staff to be immunised because they come into contact with the public on a regular basis and are exposed to greater risk than most people.

The Association of School and College Leaders said educators should jump the queue after it emerged that nearly 500 teachers in the Black Country and Staffordshire were absent due to coronavirus on just one day.

Covid infection rates across the region continue to be some of the highest in the country, with Sandwell third on 928.6 cases per 100,000 people, and Wolverhampton eighth on 880.6.

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