Hampshire fire stations will keep offering walk-in Covid-19 vaccines during August, service confirms
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In all corners of the county, pop-up vaccination centres have been opening up for people to be immunised against coronavirus, and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is doing everything it can to join the ongoing vaccine effort.
Basingstoke Fire Station has been transformed into a vaccination hub, with pop-up jab events being held at Hightown and St Mary's Fire Stations in Southampton, and Cosham Fire Station in Portsmouth.
Over the coming month, St Mary's will have walk-in appointments for Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines on August 13 and August 27.
Hightown Fire Station will have the same jabs available on Monday, August 2, August 16 and August 30.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service group manager for Portsmouth, Andy Weeks said: 'We’ve worked with Solent NHS Trust throughout the pandemic and we are pleased to be working with their team at Cosham Fire Station as they continue the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations.
'Fire stations have an important role to play within our communities and we urge everyone who lives nearby to make the most of this opportunity.
'We can reassure everyone that the fire station will remain fully operational at all times.'
Despite the size of these vaccine operations, there is still plenty of space for firefighters to go about day-to-day business, with appliances parked outside the station.
So far, police stations have not been used as walk-in vaccination centres.
Police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, Donna Jones, says she would also be prepared to use police stations for the same purpose.
She said: 'We have not been approached by NHS England to ask us to provide sites for vaccinations or for test centres.
'If we are asked, I would consider the sites across the police estate and where we could help, without compromising security or safety of the public or police staff, I would be willing to assist.'
The event at Cosham Fire Station was on July 30.
Solent NHS Trust has been widely praised for the speed at which these pop-up vaccination centres are set up, and how efficiently they are run.