Bedford Heights Covid vaccination centre to close in mid-December

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Bedford Heights is sponsoring the award for the third year

Bedford Heights is among three Covid-19 vaccination centres in Bedfordshire that will be closing in mid-December.

It comes as the delivery of Covid-19 vaccinations changes to resemble more closely the delivery of other vaccinations, such as for flu.

The centre, which opened on 1 February, 2021, will welcome its last patient on Wednesday 14 December and its doors will close at 4pm. More than 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes since the start of the vaccination campaign.

Anyone eligible for a jab up to and including Wednesday 14 December, is encouraged to attend, with no appointment needed.

“One of the easiest ways to avoid serious illness this winter is by getting the flu and Covid-19 jabs you are eligible for, helping you to stay well, protect loved ones and ease the pressure on the NHS,” said a statement from the BLMK Integrated Care Board.

“It can take up to two weeks after the jab for the vaccine to offer the maximum protection, so don’t delay and get protected before Christmas.”

After the closure of the centre, eligible people will continue to be able to get their vaccinations by booking an appointment with a GP-run clinic or at their local pharmacy. Some COVID-19 outreach clinics will run for a few days after the closure of the large sites.

You can find a full list of locations near you here. You can also book an appointment online at nhs.uk or by calling 119.

Children are also being offered the flu vaccine as a nasal spray in school, from Reception to Year 6. GP surgeries are also inviting children aged two or three (as of 31 August 2022) to receive the nasal spray vaccination.

Craig Lister, COVID and flu immunisation and vaccination strategy lead at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, paid tribute to the staff and volunteers at the hub.

“As we prepare to close the doors on these three vaccination centres, I’d like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to the staff and all the volunteers who worked there tirelessly to make sure the vaccination programme ran smoothly.

“They did a tremendous job and have saved people from very serious illness and lasting health problems.

“Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and prevent the spread of these viruses to others. Getting your jabs can prevent you from being seriously ill and needing hospital care this winter when viruses circulate more easily.

“The flu jab and the COVID-19 booster can even be given at the same time if this service is available to you at your GP practice or community pharmacy. Coming forward for vaccination is particularly important for those at higher risk, to help avoid serious health complications. Both vaccines are safe and effective, and they are our best defence against these serious illnesses.

“If you are eligible and have never had a COVID-19 or flu vaccination before, it’s not too late to start now. You will always be welcome. Make an appointment online, speak to a pharmacist, visit one of our local walk-in clinics or ring 119 for more information.”