SITES in Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington are set to start taking deliveries of the coronavirus vaccine this week.

Community sites in Burnley, Chorley, Preston, Blackpool, Barrow-in-Furness and Lytham St Annes will start receiving deliveries today with Blackburn, Accrington, Lancaster and Ormskirk following tomorrow.

Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccination director for Lancashire and South Cumbria integrated care system Jane Scattergood said: “We are at the start of what will be the largest vaccination programme in our history and local teams are working hard to put arrangements in place to allow us to start protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“It is fantastic that we are now able to start delivering vaccinations within community settings locally and we would like to say a huge thank you to the teams of primary care colleagues who are working together across Lancashire and South Cumbria to make this happen.

“The programme will continue to expand over the coming days, weeks and months, bringing vaccination much closer to everyone but this will be a marathon, not a sprint.”

Further clinics are set to receive vaccine supplies later in the week onwards.

Practice teams are working rapidly to redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.

The NHS will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.

GP and NHS director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said: “GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other primary care staff are eager to play their part in protecting people against coronavirus.

“This is the greatest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and, to help vaccinate people safely we will be working with local communities to deliver it in convenient and familiar settings.”

The community sites build on the work of hospital hubs which have already started vaccinating across the country, with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust among the first hospitals in the country to do so.

The latest phase of the vaccine roll-out is being co-ordinated by GP-led primary care networks with more practices and community pharmacies joining on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.