Councils have made a bid to play a key role in distributing the new coronavirus vaccine.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across the country, said directors of public health could use their knowledge and experience to support and expand on plans for GPs to provide at least one million doses of the vaccine each week.
It said civic centres, sports halls, libraries, athletic stadiums, car parks and other council-owned facilities could be brought into rapid use to help the health service.
Chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘The Government and NHS must start working closely with councils’ directors of public health now so they can help co-ordinate the roll-out and use their local knowledge and expertise to ensure residents can be immunised as quickly as possible.
'This will be too big a task for the NHS to do on its own.
‘Vulnerable people, older adults and health and care workers who have been prioritised by government are more likely to quickly receive these vital doses with encouragement from trusted local leaders, through their local public health teams, who know best how to reach them.’