THOUSANDS of people aged 80 and over are set to be invited to book a coronavirus vaccination at Blackburn Cathedral.

Lancashire and South Cumbria Hospitals Trust says that anyone who is eligible, who lives within 45 minutes’ drive of the cathedral and who has not yet been vaccinated by their local GP will soon receive letters telling them how they can book their appointment.

This is one of several planned new and larger vaccination centres planned across Lancashire and South Cumbria, now that more doses of the vaccine are available and Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 vaccination director for the Trust’s integrated care system hope this will allow more and more people to access them.

She said: “As the expansion of the Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to gather pace, we are delighted that Blackburn Cathedral will be used as a large vaccination centre.

“GPs, nurses, pharmacists, countless other staff, and volunteers have worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to get the site ready as part of the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations.

“We are planning for more vaccination centres to go live in Lancashire and South Cumbria over the coming weeks.

“We are asking the public to support the NHS by not contacting your GP about your vaccination, we will invite you when it is your time.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Thousands of vaccines will soon be available

She added: “The rollout of the vaccine and establishing these sites involves a wide range of organisations working together.

“We need to thank the significant support to the NHS to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme from our wider partners including Lancashire County Council, Cumbria County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, our district councils, the military, police, local businesses and many more.”

The NHS is rolling out additional services quickly, but it remains important that the public don’t try to book or go to these services before they receive their booking letter.

The cathedral, meanwhile, was thrilled to be able to offer its space to such an important service.

Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Howell-Jones said: “At the heart of the Christian faith is love and hospitality, and a God that cares for all people. It is only right that in times of national crisis we offer our building as a safe and accessible space for this exciting vaccination programme and be here to serve the nation in these times of deep uncertainty and fear.

“We see this as a sign of great hope in the fight against this pandemic and are proud to be at the heart of it.”

To help make access the centre as easy as possible, people driving into Blackburn to get their coronavirus vaccination at Blackburn Cathedral will be able to park for free in Council-owned car parks at Weir Street and Penny Street.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Mohammed Khan said: “I am delighted that Blackburn Cathedral’s crypt will soon host the first large vaccination centre in Lancashire.

“This is a small piece of history for our borough that we can wear proudly and, while all indications are our battle with the virus will get worse before it gets better, this marks a real turning point.

“My warmest thanks to the team at the cathedral for facilitating this.”

For more information about the coronavirus vaccination programme, visit: