Blackburn Cathedral’s Crypt, which became one of the first mass vaccination sites in the country, will close this weekend after delivering almost 200,000 COVID-19 jabs.
The COVID clinic will move to new premises in the town in readiness for the start of the Autumn Vaccination programme which opens on Monday 12 September.
The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Revd Peter Howell-Jones said: “We are proud to have played our part in this life-saving vaccination programme to immunise our communities against COVID-19. A cathedral is a place of welcome, a place of hope and a place of healing, so it is apt that we were able to offer the space of our Crypt to securely and safely host this clinic and be at the forefront of the fight against this pandemic. We pray every day for our nation and our community and especially for the sick and for the vulnerable and would urge everyone to take up the Autumn vaccine boosters when they are eligible.”
Abdul Razaq, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: “Blackburn Cathedral vaccination site has been an exemplar of close collaboration and integration of services between the Council, NHS and Voluntary sector partners. All those who have led the biggest NHS vaccination programme in Blackburn with Darwen can feel proud of their contributions, from centre managers to receptionists, from vaccinators to volunteers and faith leaders who have all supported operations at the site. The NHS continues to offer an accessible and convenient way to get vaccinated against COVID and Flu. The vaccines remain our best form of defence this Winter against serious disease, hospitalisation and death.”
Jane Scattergood, lead for the vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The Crypt was our first mass vaccination site and we have vaccinated almost 200,000 people from the Cathedral site. I would like to thank the Cathedral leaders who have helped make this unique site so successful. It is sad to say goodbye, but we know people prefer a much more localised service in Blackburn and that’s what we will bring them. The move will allow us to bring our offer to communities and workplaces making sure everyone gets the protection as quickly and conveniently as possible.