Posted: 13.01.21 at 13:59 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that vaccination centres across the country - which could include Stevenage's recently opened hub - are to open around the clock.
The move to get centres to open all day, every day, comes with the government aiming to get as many people vaccinated against Covid as fast as they can.
Speaking in the House of Commons during the weekly Prime Minister's Question's Mr Johnson said the openings will be rolled out as soon as possible, with ore details to be shared by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in due course.
Ministers rethought plans after coming under intense pressure to step up vaccination rates, with one source saying that a pilot of longer hours was being planned to gauge the scale of demand.
Dates and venues for round-the-clock jabs were not immediately available.
Monday saw the first mass vaccination centre in our region open its doors.
The Robertson House Conference Centre, in Gunnels Wood Road in Stevenage, is the first of its kind in Hertfordshire, and the first of many vaccination centres set to open across the county and UK as a whole.
The news follows the start of the roll-out of the Oxford/Astrazeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines after they were approved by the regulator.
It is expected that thousands of people will be able to be vaccinated at the centre on a daily basis.
All vaccination appointments are pre-booked and will initially focus on people that are 80 years of age and over, as well as frontline health and social care workers, who live within a 45-minute drive of Stevenage – with the NHS contacting those who are eligible.
Until the PM's announcement today, Wednesday, the vaccination centre had intended to run seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
But with the government set to increase the number of appointments significantly over the coming weeks Roberston House could be one of the centres earmarked by the PM expected to open '24/7'.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust have been contacted for comment.