DUDLEY'S Black Country Living Museum will no longer be offering first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the second phase of the roll-out.

The Tipton Road heritage museum has been operating as a mass vaccination centre for the borough and beyond since late January but NHS chiefs have today confirmed first doses will not be offered going forwards at the site which is set to re-open to visitors from Monday May 17.

The museum site will continue to offer second doses to all those who received their first dose there.

BCLM chief executive Andrew Lovett said: “We’re incredibly proud to have played our part in supporting the NHS to inoculate our local community against Covid by hosting the vaccination centre at BCLM.

"Like many others in the area, I received my first vaccination at the museum and I’m delighted we’ve had the opportunity to support take-up of the vaccine."

In the early weeks of the museum’s reopening, second dose clinics will run alongside the site’s normal work.

Sally Roberts, chief nursing officer for Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and senior responsible officer for the vaccination programme, said: "The importance of the museum’s role as our very first, accessible and highly visible large vaccination site, can’t be overstated. I want to thank them for their support and wish them the very best with their reopening.”

She said 90 per cent of people aged 45 and over have now had their first dose and across the Black Country and West Birmingham area more than 913,000 doses of the vaccine have been delivered over the last six months across large-scale vaccination sites, GP practices and pharmacies.

She added: “The impact of the vaccination programme and the Covid-safe measures we have all been following means the Black Country Living Museum can look forward to opening its doors to the public again."

Some GP sites have also stopped offering first doses and according to health chiefs willl move out of the vaccination programme after giving their final second dose jabs later this year.

More local pharmacies will take on the job of offering vaccines and extra capacity will be created at existing sites as part of the second phase of the vaccination programme which will allow the NHS to begin restoring services to pre-Covid levels while keeping vaccination capacity the same.

Sally Roberts said: "Now that we are moving toward younger patient groups, it makes sense that GP practices should – where possible – return their focus to providing GP services while our large vaccination sites and local pharmacies retain the capacity to keep vaccinating."

Some GP sites have taken the decision to stop offering vaccines so they can reopen other key services.

NHS chiefs have stressed work to reach communities with a disproportionately low uptake of the vaccine will continue and pop up sessions will operate; and large vaccination centres at Tipton Sports Academy, Walsall’s Saddlers Centre and Aldersley Leisure Village will continue to run throughout phase two of the vaccination programme.

A number of local pharmacies will also offer a way for people to get the jab on their doorstep.

Details of these will be available at the point of booking an appointment online on the national NHS booking system.

For people who want to be vaccinated by a local GP, the following primary care sites will continue offering vaccinations:

 Kingswinford Community Centre

 Northway Medical Practice, Dudley

 Revival Fires Church, Dudley

 Bloxwich Active Living Centre

 Darlaston Health Centre, Walsall

 Forrester Street Surgery, Walsall

 Oak Park Leisure Centre, Walsall

 Brasshouse Community Centre, Sandwell

 Alfred Squire Road Health Centre, Wolverhampton

 Keats Grove Surgery, Wolverhampton

 Mayfield Medical Practice, Wolverhampton

 Whitmore Reans Health Centre, Wolverhampton

 Woodcross Medical Centre, Wolverhampton

 Wood Road Surgery, Wolverhampton.

Vaccinations are currently available to all people aged 40 and over, health and social care workers and carers, and anyone with a long-term health condition.

Anyone who has previously declined a jab but changed their mind will be welcome to come forward when ready. They can speak to their GP or visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination.