Mass vaccination centre to open in Tonbridge

Mass vaccination centre to open in Tonbridge

The Angel Centre, in Angel Lane, will offer Covid-19 vaccinations to the most vulnerable people in West Kent, including those in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.

It is due to open in the second week of February and comes after a similar centre was set up in Folkestone last month. Another is expected to open in Gravesend this week.

The centres have been created as part of the government’s plan to vaccinate four high priority groups by the middle of February, including the over 70s, those with serious health conditions, care home residents and front-line medical staff.

Around 400,000 people in Kent and Medway have been identified as being in these groups.

The most recent figures suggest 107,000 people in the county have now been vaccinated against Covid-19 as the government ramps up its vaccination programme.

And health officials say nearly 600,000 people across the UK were vaccinated against the virus on Saturday alone, taking the UK total of the number of people that have received at least one dose of the jab to nearly nine million.

The mass vaccination centres are in addition to other locations, such as GP surgeries, that are also rolling out the jab locally.

Paul Bentley, Chief Executive of Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), which is co-ordinating and leading the large vaccination centres in Kent and Medway, said: “Opening our third vaccination centre in as many weeks shows just how committed we are to protecting our most vulnerable communities, as our vaccination drive continues to accelerate.

“I want to pay tribute to all our teams – the people who have come out of retirement to support our efforts, those who have booked extra shifts in addition to their day job and to the rest of our NHS team, which continues to care for a very large number of people who are seriously ill with Covid.

“We also couldn’t do this without the support of our partners. So I want to record a huge thank you to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and our leisure partners for use of the centre. I also want to thank Greg Clark, Laura Trott and Tom Tugendhat – the three local MPs who have helped this centre to be open to the public in such a short time.  Together, we will beat this virus.”

Like Folkestone and Gravesend, the Tonbridge site will be open to members of the public who receive a letter from the NHS inviting them to book. People aged over 70 and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable will be invited first. Nobody needs to contact the NHS, as people will be invited when it is their turn. 

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centres will mean we all get our vaccine as quickly as possible. I am delighted the Angel Centre in Tonbridge, has been chosen as the west Kent vaccination centre and Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust has allowed the facility to be used. It provides the perfect, central location for us to have our vaccine and help defeat the virus.

“This would not have been possible without Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council promoting the site. I am deeply grateful to the significant efforts of Leader Nicolas Heslop and all staff for their help in securing this for our community. I look forward to vaccinations starting soon.” 

The new large-scale vaccine centres will each be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling their operations up and down according to vaccine supplies. People who book into a vaccine centre will receive a pre-vaccination assessment before they receive their vaccine. Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues. Anyone having the vaccine will need to wait for 15 minutes before driving.

If anyone has already been vaccinated since the letter was sent out or would prefer to wait to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service, they can simply ignore it. People like care home residents, who are unable to travel to vaccination centres, hospitals or GP-led sites, are already being vaccinated at home.

For a full list of other sites already up and running, visit 

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