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McDonald's, Ashford Outlet, Whitefriars and Priestfield among new vaccine walk-in centres amid booster jab campaign


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Five coronavirus vaccine walk-in sites will be open to those over 16 this weekend in an effort to get everyone in Kent fully jabbed.

The walk-ins will pop up across the county at some of the busiest hotspots, including shopping centres, a football ground and even a McDonald's.

A clinic will be open in Ashford Designer Outlet, opposite Tommy Hilfiger
A clinic will be open in Ashford Designer Outlet, opposite Tommy Hilfiger

Currently, more than 82% of the eligible population in Kent and Medway have now had their booster jab.

That is approximately 1,010,411 people, but work continues to encourage those still to come forward to have their first, second and booster vaccinations.

Although there is plenty of capacity across the county for bookable jabs and walk-in clinics, the hope is that by holding clinics in places that people regularly go to, it will make the vaccine process quicker and more convenient.

Two shopping centres are involved - the Ashford Designer Outlet Centre will host a clinic opposite the Tommy Hilfiger store on Saturday, January 15, from 10am to 4pm.

The former Ernest Jones store in Whitefriars Shopping Centre, Canterbury, will also be open for jabs on Saturday from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and on Sunday, January 16, from 10am to 4pm.

Bustling Whitefriars in Canterbury will host a walk-in on both Saturday and Sunday
Bustling Whitefriars in Canterbury will host a walk-in on both Saturday and Sunday

The McDonald's restaurant in Snodland is set to become a walk-in centre on Sunday only.

Diners at the fast-food chain will be able to get their vaccine between 10am to 4pm.

In Maidstone, a clinic will be held at the Lockmeadow entertainment complex - home to restaurants, gym, bowling and a cinema.

The Lockmeadow walk-in will be open on Saturday only from 10am to 4pm.

With Gillingham Football Club playing at home against Burton Albion on Saturday, there will be high footfall at Priestfield Stadium.

McDonald's in Snodland opened last summer
McDonald's in Snodland opened last summer

Staff at the club have the option to be vaccinated inside the ground between 10am and noon, inside one of the medical rooms at the Rainham End.

From around 12.30pm, a van will be parked on Redfern Avenue, where fans can walk up and receive their relevant dose of the vaccine.

NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group clinical chairman, Dr Navin Kumta, said: “We are always looking at new ways of getting to people who want to be vaccinated, but may not have done so yet.

"Making it as easy as possible means we hope more people will choose to have a vaccine against Covid-19.

"We will be providing first, second and booster vaccinations at our pop-up sites, so you can do what you normally do and grab a jab at the same time.’’

Fans at the home game on Saturday can get their vaccine at the same time
Fans at the home game on Saturday can get their vaccine at the same time

Medway Council’s director of public health James Williams added: “I would encourage residents to come forward and get vaccinated as soon as they can.

"Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to protect yourself, and your family, from coronavirus.

"It’s also vital that residents continue to follow the latest national guidance to protect themselves and the wider community.

"I would urge everyone to keep taking symptom-free tests, particularly when they may encounter situations of high risks during the day.

"We have a number of pop-in testing sites across Medway and residents can order testing kits on the government’s website or by calling 119.”

The vaccination bus will continue to visit several locations across Maidstone in the next week.

It is scheduled to return to Lock Meadow on Tuesday, January 18, from 10am to 1pm.

There will also be a pop up at MidKent College, Oakwood Park from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday.

The bus will then park up in Jubilee Square on Saturday, January 22, from 10am to 4pm.

If you’re unable to make it this weekend, you can click here for more information on future walk-ins, or book online by clicking here.

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