Blackburn Cathedral’s mass Covid vaccination centre to close

02nd September 2022

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.

Blackburn Cathedral’s vaccination centre to close after delivering 200,000 COVID jabs

The Covid clinic will move to new premises in the city 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.”

Blackburn was one of a number of cathedrals at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. Lichfield, Salisbury, Westminster Abbey and Bangor Cathedral in Wales all opened as vaccine clinics for their communities while Chester, Rochester and Worcester cathedrals became Covid test centres.

Blackburn Cathedral’s mass Covid vaccination centre to close

Abdul Razaq, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen 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. 

“I would urge everyone who is eligible to get this vaccine as soon as they possibly can. The world has moved forward but COVID-19 is still a horrible virus that can make you seriously ill. The best way to protect yourself is to get every vaccine that is offered to you.”

The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book in for the vaccine and as with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable will be called forward first. Anyone who has a vaccine booked for the Crypt will be contacted to move their appointment to the new location.