BROMSGROVE’S Artrix Theatre has been earmarked as a mass coronavirus vaccination centre – and the jabs could be rolled out as early as next month.

Documents seen by the Advertiser state Monday, December 14 as a potential starting date for the vaccination programme.

The Artrix has been empty since April, when the theatre was forced into insolvency, partly by the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts industry.

It is one of two Worcestershire venues designated under the plans, with St Peter's Church in Worcester the other - and vaccinations there could be ready to begin by the end of November.

The Advertiser understands that the vaccinations would be delivered by NHS staff and that care home staff and residents plus workers and patients in primary care facilities, such as hospitals, would be prioritised.

The priority order then follows a sliding scale based on age and condition, beginning with those aged over 80, then over 75, over 70 and over 65.

From there, the next priority will be high-risk adults, such as those with underlying health conditions, under the age of 65 and then moderate-risk adults under 65.

Vaccinations will then be made available for those under 60, under 55 and under 50 on a sliding scale before the programme is rolled out to the rest of the population.

The Government has placed orders for millions of vaccines that are currently in development, in order to halt the second wave of the pandemic.

That includes 100 million doses of a jab being manufactured by the University of Oxford and Astra Zeneca, plus 40 million doses of a Pfizer vaccine and five million of a Moderna vaccination.

Professor Stephen Powis, England’s national medical director, said on Wednesday that the NHS was working hard to ensure it was prepared to deliver the vaccines as soon as they are fully approved.

And while the traditional route of using GPs to deliver jabs will not be completely abandoned, there is a need to deliver them quickly on a mass scale, hence the requirement for vaccination centres.

A spokesperson for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “We do not yet have a vaccine or know exactly how the potential vaccines will need to be stored and distributed, so extensive planning is underway for a number of different scenarios locally as we await final decisions by regulators at the MHRA and the JVCI.

"As a result, we’re not yet in a position to confirm plans but when the time comes the NHS will be ready to deliver vaccinations in every community.”