A new walk-in centre is a shot in the arm for North Lincolnshire’s COVID vaccination campaign as nearly 14,000 people in the region get the jab every week.
Health bosses have urged people to take advantage of the clinic as it’s warned North Lincolnshire could see a surge in Omicron cases in the New Year.
The permanent centre in Scunthorpe’s Foundry shopping centre will help hundreds of people get the booster daily.
The Foundry walk-in clinic is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.
It will be able to offer jabs for around 2500 people a week.
This is on top of the 3000 already being administered every week through appointments at the Ironstone Centre, 1000 at pharmacies and 7400 at GP surgeries.
People were queuing down the high street to get the jab as it opened on Tuesday.
55 per cent of eligible people in North Lincolnshire have already come forward for a booster, and the programme is on track to hit 90 per cent.
The centre is a joint effort between North Lincolnshire’s council, hospital trust and Clinical Commissioning Group.
The CCG Medical Director Dr Satpal Shekhawat has urged everyone eligible to make sure they have a booster.
“With the Omicron variant, we know that two doses are not enough. It’s important to reduce the severity of the disease and get the protection they require,” he said.
“I would make a plea to everyone to come and get the vaccine.
“We have seen in London how quickly the new variant spreads. We have a window of opportunity before it properly reaches the north around January in which people can get added protection.
“If we can get as many people as possible to have a booster before then, it will make a big difference in how many people become ill and need hospital treatment.”
The booster will offer reassurance for residents over Christmas.
Gemma Thomas, 24, said: “I will be leaving for six months in Kenya with the army in the New Year, so it was really important to me to get the booster before I went.”
Her sister Georgia added: “I couldn’t get an appointment booked online, but I only had to wait in line for 45 minutes which was very convenient.”
Simon Smith, 46, said: “It will make me feel safer over Christmas. I didn’t want to wait another few weeks so I thought I would come down today and get it done immediately.”