Empty Wisbech supermarket now Covid-19 vaccination centre
- Credit: Steve Barclay
An empty supermarket in Wisbech is to become a Covid-19 vaccination centre.
The NHS has taken over the former Budgens/Co-op store in Horsefair and will open it on February 5.
The store ceased to be a supermarket four years ago and last summer became a temporary community recycling and paint store.
The Horsefair store provides an additional option to the large-scale vaccination hubs already delivering vaccinations in local hospitals and by GPs across the county.
Dr David Vickers, medical director, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “Further centres will roll out in the coming weeks.”
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He said centres such as Wisbech “are capable of delivering thousands of vaccines in the coming weeks”.
Letters are being sent out by the national booking service to people in the priority groups as determined by the national Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).
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MP Steve Barclay said it has been designed as a large-scale centre and will target residents within a 45-minute radius “and complement the large-scale centres in Peterborough, Cambridge, and Huntingdon as well as main hospital sites”.
And he promised more such centres will come on-stream in the coming weeks.
“Residents should not turn up at the centre without a booking,” he said.
“They should wait for a letter, being sent out by the national booking service to people in the priority group, inviting them to book an appointment.
“People who would prefer to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service appointment can do so.”
He added: “As always, I’d urge constituents to have the jab when invited and to continue to maintain social distancing and stay at home as much as possible to keep yourself and your families and friends safe”.
Dr Gary Howsam, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group chair and local GP said: “NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as providing vital services for people who need our care.
“Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine; we will contact you. When you are contacted, please attend your booked appointment.
“Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues.
“It is vital that you do not attend the Horsefair shopping centre vaccination centre if you do not have an appointment as you will not be able to receive a vaccination.”
He said: “I urge people across Cambridgeshire to continue following all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as you can, and always remembering ‘hands, face and space’.”
Covid-19 vaccinations are now being delivered across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – by appointment only - through:
Hubs at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge; the Peterborough City Hospital; and Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon.
The vaccination centres at The Grafton Shopping Centre, Cambridge; the City Care Centre, Peterborough; the Oak Tree Centre Huntingdon and the Horsefair Shopping Centre Wisbech.
How to find Unit 55 (former supermarket), Horsefair Shopping Centre, Wisbech
Unit 55 is a former supermarket.
With car parking for nearly 400 cars and the close proximity of the bus station and taxi rank, the Horsefair shopping centre is easily accessible for residents and visitors alike. The post code for your sat nav is PE13 1AL.
Parking is free for up to three hours Monday to Saturday (no charges apply on Sundays)
Priority groups determined by the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) being invited initially to attend vaccination centres:
all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
all those 75 years of age and over
all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals