BOLTON'S vaccine rollout continued on Monday as thousands received jabs over the weekend in an effort to combat the rising number of cases.

Bolton GP federation took the decision to extend the vaccine bus' opening hours yesterday until 5.30pm to ensure more people could receive their first dose.

A new vaccine clinic will open today at Quebec Hall, Quebec Street for those who live, work or study in the BL3 or BL4 postcode areas.

The clinic is for those meet the current criteria, offering first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Meanwhile MP for Bolton North East, Mark Logan, said that vaccinations should proceed as quickly as possible.

He told BBC Breakfast: "My message is simple, let's vaccinate Bolton before the end of May.

"Let's get that first dose out as quickly as possible.

"There has been an absolutely heroic effort from volunteers, health professionals including Dr Helen Wall, Dr Helen Lowey and Andy Morgan at Bolton Council."

More than 6,200 vaccines were administered in the borough over the weekend.

Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the Covid Vaccine programme in Bolton, said that people who were previously hesitant about getting the vaccine have now stepped forward.

Dr Wall told BBC Breakfast: “We’re seeing people coming forward that clearly had the option to have the jab for some time – older people, disabled people – and they’ve chosen to come forward now.

“I think in part that’s because we brought this into the community as a trusted place, but also the things that are going on in Bolton are quite worrying for people and I think that’s given some push to people coming forward now for the vaccine.”

Dr Wall revealed that before the weekend there were around 10,000 people in the area in the highest priority groups - those deemed to be clinically vulnerable and the over 50s - who were yet to be vaccinated.

She added: "I'm hoping that we've made a big dent into that now."

Bolton has seen a sharp rise in infections during recent weeks with the majority of cases being identified as the Indian variant.

The cases are believed to have been spread from international travel and community transmission.