More than 50 vaccine sites open up across the Black Country and Staffordshire

More than 50 walk-in vaccination sites have opened across the Black Country and Staffordshire as a new variant of Covid-19 rears its head – while elsewhere special clinics are being run to boost uptake in families.

The latest vaccination push has seen a new site open in Wolverhampton's Mander Centre to make it easier for people to receive their vaccine in the city.

Sally Roberts, chief nursing officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "It’s fantastic that our new vaccination site in Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre is also now open for walk-in appointments from this weekend. Having a site located in this prime position will ensure local people have easier access to vaccinations, where they can drop in for a vaccine at a time that is convenient for them, or even while they’re out doing their Christmas shopping.

"I would like to thank Wolverhampton Council and the Mander Centre for hosting the vaccination site, and would encourage anyone who is due a vaccine to come and pay us a visit.

"Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family, especially as we approach Christmas, so please don’t delay and come forward as soon as possible."

Steve Wheaton, site lead for The Mander Vaccination Centre and The Saddlers Vaccination Centre, said: "We know that Christmas is a hugely important time when people want to get together with family and friends and celebrate. That’s why going into the festive season we want to give our local communities the maximum protection against Covid-19.

"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated and our walk-in sites are perfect for those who want to drop in at a time that suits them, with no appointment necessary.

"Following on from the great success of The Saddlers Vaccination Centre, we’re delighted to open our new vaccination site in the Wolverhampton Mander Centre. We have a brilliant clinical team and fully trained vaccinators working from the site, providing us with additional capacity to roll out vaccines to local people in the heart of city centre.

"I hope that anyone who is due a dose of the vaccine will take this opportunity and get it done over the weekend, to not only help protect themselves but also those around them too."

Meanwhile, in Staffordshire, jabs will be offered today and tomorrow at Cornwells Chemist, on Wardles Lane in Great Wyrley and tomorrow at Chase Terrace Fire Station on Rugeley Road, Burntwood.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, clinical lead for the vaccination programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, said: "In the run-up to Christmas – and what we know will be a challenging winter – we would encourage everyone who is eligible to get their Covid-19 jab as soon as possible to protect themselves and those around them."

"This is especially important as many people will be planning to meet up and mix indoors with friends and family over the festive period, which is the perfect environment for the virus to spread.

"Getting your Covid-19 booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and it will help to reduce the pressure on the NHS

"Sadly, we are seeing a surge in cases in parts of Europe at the moment. The most important thing we can do to stop a similar rise in this country is to get the jab – so please get your vaccines as soon as you can so we can keep the virus at bay."

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