Football stadium set for coronavirus vaccination hub

the coronavirus

Ashton Gate stadium has been chosen as the site for a regional mass vaccination centre. - Credit: Local Democracy Service

Residents could start receiving coronavirus vaccines next week, starting with over-50s and frontline health and care workers, local health chiefs have revealed.

A regional mass vaccination centre is set to be created at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate football stadium, while GP practices will be grouped together, with one of them administering jabs for patients from the other surgeries seven days a week.

Between 75,000 and 110,000 people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will receive vaccines every week from December 7 until April 5, according to a report to University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust (UHBW) board.

Pharmacies will fill the gaps where GP coverage is low, and home visits will be carried out for housebound people, the report by Healthier Together states.

At least 70 per cent of the local population will need to be vaccinated, which involves a second dose three to four weeks after the first.

Robert Woolley, chief executive of UHBW, which runs the BRI, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Weston General, told trust board members on Friday: “We are gearing up to provide and administer mass vaccinations.

“This is moving very fast.

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“It is subject to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority approval but if that approval is fast tracked as we expect then we are gearing up to be able to start vaccinating staff and any other priorities that are advised to us nationally in December.”

A report to the board said Ashton Gate had been identified as a potential site for the mass vaccinations and that it would be open 12 hours every day.

It was the only site named in the papers.

North Bristol Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Southmead, will oversee the programme.

The mass vaccination centre will be alongside a GP-led service.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG head of primary care development Jenny Bowker told a council meeting that everyone over 50 and other high-risk groups would receive it first, although over-80s and care home residents and staff were front of the queue.

She said details were being finalised but that the priority groups would be similar to those for flu jabs and that GPs should be ready within weeks, although it was not yet known which vaccines would be available first.

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