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The Angel Centre in Tonbridge to become Kent's third mass Covid vaccine centre

A leisure complex in Tonbridge is set to be transformed into a mass Covid-19 vaccination centre, capable of delivering thousands of vaccines a week.

Jabs will start to be administered from the Angel Centre, in Angel Lane, from the second week of February.

Watch: Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat welcomes the news

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), which is co-ordinating and leading the large vaccination centres in Kent and Medway, has already opened a centre in Folkestone, with a second opening planned for The Woodville, in Gravesend, this week.

KCHFT Chief Executive Paul Bentley 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.”

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.

The Angel Centre in Tonbridge Picture: Google
The Angel Centre in Tonbridge Picture: Google

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.”

Cllr Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, said: “I’m sure residents across west Kent will join me in thanking the NHS for creating this vital facility in our borough and for working with council colleagues and our leisure trust partners to get it up and running so soon.

“It’s a huge comfort to know that every jab provided at the Angel Centre will help save lives, protect our community and bring the pandemic under control.”

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.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge

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