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COVID-19 vaccination centres could open in Windsor and Maidenhead 'before Christmas'

COVID-19 vaccination centres could be set up in Maidenhead and Windsor before Christmas, councillors were told today (Tuesday).

At a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting held this afternoon, members were discussing the potential for a greater rollout of the vaccine after Wexham Park Hospital issued its first jabs this morning.

At the meeting, Dr Huw Thomas, of the NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was optimistic about the future.

He said: “We are really excited about this in primary care. Locally we’d like a location that would be useful for Ascot, that’s likely to be in Bracknell.

“We’d like one in Maidenhead and we’d like one in Windsor, that will meet all our patients’ and residents’ needs.

"We’re well on the way to securing those centres and there’s a chance that we might well be able to start immunising this side of Christmas. If not, it will be very early in the new year."

Dr Thomas, the CCG’s locality lead for Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead, added: “The biggest limiting factor is the amount of vaccine we receive.

“They come in packs of 975, so we are likely to get that sort of number per town initially, and we’ll be following the guidelines with over-80s as the top priority.”

Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill) lead member for health, added that the need for the Pfizer vaccine to be stored at extremely low temperatures makes its harder to roll out on a larger scale, but stated that it would be easier when more vaccines get approved.

Also at the meeting, panel members were informed that grant money sent over by the Government has been spent on £30 vouchers that would be given to the parents of children who are eligible for free school meals.

Kevin McDaniel, director of children’s services for the Royal Borough, said: “I’m delighted to say that on Monday the council was able to use the first tranche to allow schools to provide £30 per child who is currently eligible for a free school meal.

“Families will be able to access them by the end of next week or early next week, in order for them to be able to access winter supplies from their choice of supermarket around the borough, and potentially freeing up their cash to pay for the heating bills.”

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