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Vaccine superhubs open across UK in bid to jab 15,000,000 in a month

Picture: PA 1st pics of Vaccine SUPERHUBs which could innoculate someone every 35 seconds to open today
Seven superhubs are opening across England today (Picture: PA)

Seven vaccine ‘superhubs’ which could see one person inoculated ‘every 35 seconds’ have opened across England. 

Moira Edwards, 88, was pictured becoming the first person to receive a coronavirus jab at Epsom racecourse in Surrey – one of the mass vaccination sites opening on Monday.

Ms Edwards, from Cobham in Surrey, who received her first dose beside her daughter Clare Edwards, said it was ‘extremely important’ to get the vaccine. She added: ‘Having this vaccine makes it a step closer to being with my family again and giving them a big hug.’

Ashton Gate football stadium in Bristol, the Excel Centre where London’s Nightingale hospital is based, Newcastle’s Centre for Life, the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, Robertson House in Stevenage and Birmingham’s Millennium Point are the first of the large sites offering jabs to people aged 80 and older, along with health and care staff.

Other images show the layout of the sites and people queueing up to get their jabs.

With the efforts to get millions of Britain vaccinated ramping up, the first patient to receive his Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at Newcastle’s mass vaccination centre at the Centre for Life was 81-year-old Nana Kwabena Edusie.

Originally from Ghana, Mr Edusie has been in the UK for 55 years and lives in the Heaton area of the city.

Moira Edwards receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire receiving the first of two injections with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine from nurse Justine Braid at a NHS vaccine centres that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey. The racecourse will be home to one of seven mass vaccination centres opening next week as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19.
Moira Edwards receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Epsom horse racing course (Picture: PA)
People wait to receive an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Centre for Life in Times Square, Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
People wait to receive an injection in Times Square, Newcastle (Picture: PA)

The centres will be joined later this week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total of sites to around 1,200.

The Government has set a target of having 15 million people vaccinated by mid-February, with every adult in the UK being ‘offered’ the vaccine by autumn.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that 15 million people will be told a vaccine is ready for them by mid-February.

He told Sky News: ‘The top four categories, actually, for the UK is 15 million people, in England it’s about 12 million people, so we will have offered a vaccination to all of those people.’

Pressed on the difference between being offered a jab and being vaccinated, he said: ‘When you offer a vaccination it doesn’t mean a Royal Mail letter, it means the vaccine and the needle and the jab are ready for you.

People wait to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Centre for Life in Times Square, Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
People speak to a nurse in Newcastle on Monday (Picture: PA)
Excel Nightingale Vaccination Super Hub. NHS Nightingale at Excel in east London is one of seven Covid 19 Vaccination Super Hubs that opened today. 11/01/2021 Andrew Baker studio@andrewbakerphotographer.com 07977074356
A man walks towards the Excel Nightingale Vaccination Super Hub – also the site of London’s NHS Nightingale (Picture: Andrew Baker)

‘What you will see us publishing is the total numbers of people being vaccinated, not being offered a vaccine, and that’s the number to hold us to account to.’

Nadhim Zahawi, the minister in charge of vaccine deployment, said vaccinations were ‘the greatest invention known to humankind’ but said they would not be made compulsory.

‘You don’t want to have to go down the route of mandating vaccines because that would be completely wrong, we don’t have those sorts of values in the UK,’ he told Times Radio.

‘We want them to see the value… to themselves and to the community. This is the greatest invention known to humankind.

‘But the moment you say it is mandatory there will be those that say “well, I don’t want to be vaccinated”, hence why we have used the word offered.’

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Mr Nana Kwabena Edusie, aged 81 from Heaton, receives his vaccination from Staff Nurse Caroline McGuinness at the International Centre for Life on January 11, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Nana Kwabena Edusie, aged 81 from Heaton, receives his vaccination from Staff Nurse Caroline McGuinness in Newcastle (Picture: Getty Images)
Mary Williams receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Centre for Life in Times Square, Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Mary Williams receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine on Monday (Picture: PA)

Critics suggest use of the word ‘offered’ rather than ‘given’ actually suggest ministers are not confident of reaching their target, amid concerns about the speed of the rollout.

Last week, the highly-respected Professor Sir John Bell claimed that the NHS has the ‘theoretical capacity’ to immunise ‘everybody’ in five days ‘if they want to’.  

The regius professor of medicine at Oxford University told The Times: ‘I don’t get the sense they are really motivated.’ 

He said: ‘You have to view it as if it were a war. The Israelis are good at getting on a war footing, everyone is waiting for the 2am call anyway.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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