Published: 17:33, 21 January 2021
| Updated: 17:51, 21 January 2021
A large-scale vaccination centre is set to open in Folkestone, it has emerged.
The mass vaccine site is expected to open from Monday, although its exact location has yet to be revealed.
Damian Collins asks about a mass vaccination site for Kent
The news was confirmed today in the House of Commons when MP for the district Damian Collins questioned Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the need for a mass vaccination centre in the county.
Mr Collins said: "Yesterday I visited the vaccination hubs at the civic centre in Folkestone and at Lydd airport, which along with the Oaklands surgery in Hythe are doing a great job in vaccinating the local community.
"Does my right hon. Friend agree that in Kent we also need to see the mass vaccination centres opening as soon as possible, which can process tens of thousands of people a week?"
Mr Hancock replied: "Yes, I agree with my hon. Friend, and I am delighted to say that next week a new vaccination centre will open in Folkestone, serving the people not only of Folkestone, but of the wider area across parts of east Kent.
"That is in addition, of course, to the brilliant work that GPs are doing in his part of the world."
It comes after Kent and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group's director of nursing and quality, Gail Locock, revealed in a virtual meeting this morning that a large-scale vaccination centre is set to open in Kent.
The location of the centre was not revealed in the meeting.
The new mass vaccination site will be the fourth vaccine hub in the Folkestone district.
Lydd Airport, on Romney Marsh, and the Civic Centre, in Folkestone, both opened in the last couple of days; they are expected to vaccinate around 2,000 people a week.
A vaccine site in Hythe has already opened at Oaklands Health Centre, and since December it has given out 4,800 doses.
It is understood the now empty, former Debenhams store in Folkestone could also be turned into a vaccine centre.
It is not known if this is still happening, or if this could be the location of the mass vaccine site.
Mr Collins visited both the Civic Centre and Lydd Ariport site yesterday.
He said: "The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in our country’s history, has got off to a fantastic start at the Folkestone Civic Centre, Hythe Oaklands surgery and Lydd Airport thanks to the hard work of all of those involved.
"The news today about the new mass-vaccination centre in Folkestone from next week will help us do even better.
"It’s great to see that so many people in Folkestone, Hawkinge, Cheriton, Lyminge and on the Marsh have received the vaccine as we lead the world in our fight back against coronavirus.
"I look forward to getting my vaccine over the coming months - and I urge everyone to do the same when they get the call up."