Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium has joined the Covid-19 vaccination drive – and could vaccinate up to 2,000 people a day.
The stadium opened as a vaccination centre last Monday and 540 people were booked in on the first day.
The stadium’s Chadwick Lawrence Stand concourse has been turned into a makeshift medical centre with the entrance at the side of the cinema. A one-way system is in operation and car parking is in the Town Avenue car park.
The stadium’s supply is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and one of the first to receive it on Monday was Glenys Wood, 72, of Dalton, who said the vaccine was “very welcome.”
Also last Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Kirklees to visit the Al Hikmah Vaccination Centre in Batley.
Mr Johnson wanted to encourage people from ethnic minorities, in particular, to take up the vaccination offer.
“This centre is producing an incredibly high turnout,” said Mr Johnson. “As of this morning I’m told that 97% of over 80s have been offered the vaccine which is more than virtually anywhere else in the country.”
Steve Brennan, who is in charge of the vaccine programme in Kirklees, said the stadium centre was currently operating at about one-quarter capacity and could vaccinate 2,000 people a day.
“We have made really good progress in Kirklees and nationally we are working down to making sure all over 70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable will all have been offered a vaccination by the middle of February.”
He added: “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.”
People who book into a vaccine centre will be greeted by staff and volunteers who will marshal car parks and walkways around the stadium and register them when they arrive.
The marshals are wearing hi-vis vests with the words ‘Flu Fighters’ on the back!