EIGHT new vaccination sites and extended opening hours will be operating across jab clinics in Dorset as the health and care system ramps up its booster programme.

Dorset’s two current vaccination centres – at King’s Park Hospital, Bournemouth and Vespasian House, Dorchester – have extended their hours to offer more appointments with the aim of being open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. 

They will open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Two new centres should be open in the Poole area in the next week and work is underway to set up six further vaccination centres around the county which will also provide outreach pop-up clinics in a range of community locations. 

'89 per cent of over 70s boosted'

These centres will be in Beaminster, Bournemouth, Bridport, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton and Weymouth. 

The most vulnerable and at risk people (those aged over 70, clinically extremely vulnerable or working in health and care) have been receiving their booster jab since September and there has been an 89 per cent uptake. 

People who are housebound or live in care homes are being prioritised through a separate programme.

The NHS and its partners are pulling out all the stops to offer jabs to everyone who is eligible by December 31 - the best way to find out where and when you can get your jab is to keep checking the NHS national booking system. 

GP-led primary care networks (PCNs) and community pharmacies are providing thousands more appointment slots in the coming weeks, which may include some walk-in opportunities.

Dawn Dawson, director for nursing, therapies and quality for Dorset HealthCare, which is running some of the vaccination centres, said: “This is a massive team effort by healthcare organisations and partners to rapidly expand our vaccination offer for Dorset people.

'Massive team effort'

“Everyone involved is doing an amazing job – working to find venues, recruiting, redeploying and training staff and pulling together the logistics for an incredibly complex and speedy operation.

“We’d like to encourage everyone to get their jab as soon as they can. Please be patient while we get everything organised. And most importantly please be kind and respectful to our fantastic staff and volunteers – they’ve once again stepped up to help protect everyone, even after the incredibly difficult two years we’ve all had.”

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Appointments at sites including vaccination centres, pharmacies and some GP services will be bookable via the NHS national booking system. 

Other sites, particularly many led by GPs, will contact people directly to arrange an appointment. There may be ad hoc walk-in days at some sites which will be advertised at the time.

The National Booking System (119) will open up to the various cohorts in sequence – this will happen quickly across the coming days. 

If you are not yet eligible the site will tell you that you can’t yet book using this service.

By Christmas the system should be open to everyone who is eligible.