SEASIDERS expecting to see their town’s community venue turned into a mass vaccination centre may be waiting a little longer than they first thought, it has been revealed.

In December, Frinton and Walton Town Council said the NHS had confirmed it would be hiring the Columbine Centre, in Princes Esplanade, Walton.

It was understood the health service would take on the site to administer the PfizerBioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as part of the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in its history.

Although this remains the case, a health source believes the transformation of the centre into a fully functioning hub could still be at least a month away, if not longer.

Back in December Jerry Wedge, the clerk at the Frinton and Walton Town Council, had said the NHS would arrange for equipment to be delivered to the venue after January 4 so health workers would be prepared as soon as the programme started.

This, however, has still yet to happen, and has left residents baffled and questioning why and when the centre will join the fight against coronavirus.

Speaking anonymously, one resident said: “It would be good to know when they intend to actually start at the Columbine Centre.

“It would be interesting to know where or what went wrong.

“I think a lot of people are frustrated that they know nothing about what’s happening at the Columbine Centre.”

The Columbine Centre will be one of four mass vaccination centres, including Colchester United Football Stadium, set up in north east Essex.

Once the large vaccine hubs are up and running, residents who match certain age criteria will be permitted to book in a date and time to have their jab.

Alternatively, they can wait until they are contacted by their GP and either have their vaccine at Colchester Hospital, Colchester Primary Care Centre, Fryatt Hospital in Dovercourt, or St Helena Hospice’s Tendring Centre in Clacton.

The Government plans to vaccinate at least two million people each week at 2,700 vaccine sites across the UK

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ”I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people’s lives after a difficult year.”