Staff from The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Spectrum Community Health CIC will be delivering vaccinations at the centre that has been set up at Spectrum Community Health, Navigation Walk in Wakefield. The centre is the first of the region’s four centres to open and will mean thousands more appointments can be offered to both patients and health and social care staff.
Large vaccination centres are part of NHS plans to step up capacity and roll out the vaccine more widely, complementing the local vaccination services being provided by groups of GPs. They have been located in areas with good public transport links or parking facilities.
People in the nationally agreed priority groups who live 30 to 45 minutes drive from any of the large vaccination centres are receiving an invitation letter from the NHS national booking service. This will explain how to book appointment at any of the centres that are open, including those at community pharmacies.
The first four priority groups as set out in the JCVI recommendations are:
- care home residents and staff;
- frontline health and care workers and people aged 80 and over
- people aged 75 and over;
- people aged 70 and over and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
If people prefer, they can wait to receive an invitation from their GP practice for an appointment at their local centre or choose to wait for the other centres to open over the next few weeks.
Dr Phil Wood, Senior Responsible Officer for the West Yorkshire Vaccination Programme said: “We are delighted to be able to open our first large vaccination centre. This will help us to vaccinate greater numbers of at risk people as quickly as possible and adds to the range of options that are available for people to choose from. Our other three centres will be opening over the next three weeks, which will help us to reach people in all areas of West Yorkshire.
“We have had a great response from people who have been invited for a vaccination so far but please do not worry if you are in one of the first four priority groups and haven’t been contacted yet. We are working hard to offer vaccinations to everyone in the first four priority groups as quickly as supplies allow and will contact everyone over the next few weeks to book their appointment.”
Jane Palmer is a registered nurse at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the vaccinators at the new centre. She said: “Covid-19 has affected us all, whether it’s what we’ve witnessed first-hand on the front line, or what we’ve been through in our own personal lives. I feel very privileged to be able to play a part in helping to protect our local community against this awful virus.”
The other centres in West Yorkshire will be at Jacobs Well in Bradford, John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield and Elland Road in Leeds.