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Fire stations could become Covid-19 vaccination centres again, as efforts are 'scaled up' across the country

Fire stations could become vaccination centres once more as the country is urged to ‘scale up’ its vaccination efforts.

Police and fire minister Kit Malthouse has sent a letter to fire services across the country, asking for volunteers to help deliver Covid-19 booster jabs.

It comes as case numbers continue to rise, with a national infection rate of 1,525.9 per 100,000 people.

A Covid-19 vaccination is administered
A Covid-19 vaccination is administered

In his letter, Mr Malthouse said: "I’m calling upon you [fire services] to find as many existing and new volunteers across your service as possible, to support the huge scaling up of the vaccination booster effort across the country."

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said it is ‘ready, willing and able’ to help out.

Chief fire officer Neil Odin said: "There is a growing need for assitance around vaccinations across our communities, and our hard-working health teams need the support of other agencies such as ourselves.

Fire stations could be turned into Covid-19 vaccination centres again
Fire stations could be turned into Covid-19 vaccination centres again

"Over the past two years we have been working alongside our health partners in many ways, to support the ongoing challenges.

"We’re already working hard to make sure the people who can volunteer are doing so – we have a number of qualified vaccinators who will continue and it may be that our fire stations become vaccination centres once again."

Last year, fire stations across the county played their part in the Covid-19 vaccine effort, with Basingstoke Fire Station turned into a vaccination hub.

Mr Odin added that the offer to use fire stations has been made, and that teams in Hampshire and Isle of Wight are ready for action.

Kit Malthouse’s letter also explained that the Home Office will reimburse fire authorities for the deployment of volunteers.

Mr Odin said: "There is always a fear that if we deliver something like this, it makes it difficult to continue our operations – both financially and practically – but the fire service is prepared to play its part.

"We are ready, willing and able, and will continue to support the community in any way we can."

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