More vaccination centres due to open in Shrewsbury, Ludlow and north Shropshire in coming weeks, council chiefs say

More letters urging elderly residents to travel long distances to get coronavirus vaccines are set to be issued – but council chiefs insist people can wait to get their jabs closer to home.

Several people aged 80 plus in Shropshire received letters last weekend, and more are due to be sent out.

The move sparked fury among families, unhappy that their elderly relatives were being encouraged to travel miles and stand in long queues at mass vaccination hubs.

But Shropshire Council insisted people do not have to go, and can wait for vaccination centres to open in the county.

The authority says vaccination centres in Shrewsbury, Ludlow and north Shropshire are due to open in the coming weeks.

A spokesman said: "We recognise the thought of travelling a considerable distance, especially for our older residents, is not ideal and may cause some distress.

"We want to take this opportunity again to put your mind at ease.

"If you receive this letter, or know someone who does, we want to reassure you that by early February, we expect to have two vaccination centres open in Shropshire – one in Shrewsbury and one Ludlow, with a third centre in north Shropshire opening a few weeks after this.

"We’ll publish more precise details about these centres as soon as we are able to. Additionally, more of our GP surgeries are working together to roll out local vaccination services to their patients over the next few weeks.

"So, if you receive a letter calling you for a vaccination and, for whatever reason, and you can’t travel outside of Shropshire for this, don’t worry.

"You will soon be able get your vaccination much closer to home.

"You will be contacted by the NHS or your local GP, although may need to wait a little longer for their vaccination.

"However, we urge everyone in this age group to get vaccinated, as soon as you are able to whether at a national centre or at a centre closer to home when these are open.

" This is best way to protect yourself from coronavirus."

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