AS thousands of residents rush to take up extra coronavirus jabs council bosses are appealing for more vaccines.

New sites across Blackburn with Darwen have seen a strong response to pleas for local people to get immunised but borough public health director Professor Dominic Harrison has told the government: “Please ensure that we get more vaccine so that we can get down the priority list faster.”

Although he believes most 18 to 35-year-olds can get a jab because of acting as informal carers for family, friends and neighbours, he wants official sanction to vaccinate them all.

Prof Harrison said: “We need a direct response to the local data which clearly tells to focus efforts on the younger generation.

“Along with the increased testing and support for isolating, we firmly believe vaccinating over-18s, ideally over-16s, in areas of most concern would play a critical part in curbing our rising cases linked to the variant which originated in India.”

Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan said: “The testing programme and vaccination programme are both going well.

“But we need more especially in vaccine supply. We would urge the government to allow us to vaccinate anyone over-18 in the areas of most concerns. If not, continue to give us extra supply so we can get down the priority list faster. Vaccination remains the key tool we have to bring the virus under control and protect our people.”

The new surge vaccination centres are in Blackburn’s Penny Street Car Park and Revidge Fold Church, at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and in Darwen’s Everest Pharmacy.