Ashton Gate is proud to be able to confirm it has been named by the government as one of seven “super-vaccination” centres.
Earlier today a government spokesperson confirmed all seven locations across England will be opening from next week.
Mark Kelly, Managing Director of Ashton Gate said: “Ashton Gate is proud to support the delivery of this vaccination programme. The stadium sits in the heart of the community and to be able to help in whatever way we can is a real honour.
“We have previously partnered with the NHS for Covid-testing here at the Stadium and it is perfectly set up to be able to help the NHS with this incredibly important programme.
“The NHS is leading the programme and they will be managing the distribution of the vaccine, starting with priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
“The vaccination centre has taken over the South Concourse of the Stadium and it is a self-contained space with plenty of room for social distancing, enabling a safe and efficient delivery of the vaccine, including one-way systems.
“Matchdays will continue as they have been throughout the pandemic, and when fans are able to return to stadia, we will be able to accommodate that alongside the vaccination programme.”
Dr Tim Whittlestone, Clinical Lead for the NHS vaccination programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, said: “We are delighted to be able to roll out the next phase of the vaccination programme in partnership with the Ashton Gate stadium.
“Our shared priority is a safe and effective roll-out for everyone in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Our local GPs, primary care networks and hospital staff have pulled out all the stops to begin vaccinating the over 80s, care home residents and some frontline health and social care staff to date.
“The new AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine coming onstream, alongside the increased capacity at Ashton Gate, should allow us to move through the prioritisation categories at pace. It’s a really exciting development, but it will still take time to reach everyone who needs to be vaccinated.
The public can support us by continuing to be patient – we will get to you, and the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn.”
Ashton Gate Chairman Martin Griffiths added: “Throughout this pandemic, Ashton Gate has remained a beacon of hope for some of the most vulnerable in society, delivering thousands of lunches to local communities through our food delivery programme in partnership with Fareshare UK charity.
“We are ready to step up once again and will continue to work closely with NHS England & NHS Improvement throughout the vaccination programme.”
No. 10 confirmed that the conference and sports centres will be staffed by a mixture of NHS staff and volunteers to add to 775 GP-led centres and 207 hospital sites due to open by the end of this week.
The seven centres named are: Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol; London’s Excel Centre; Manchester Tennis & Football Centre; Robertson House Stevenage; Epsom Downs Racecourse Surrey; Millennium Point in Birmingham and Newcastle’s Centre for Life.
Vaccinations will only be issued to those that have received their NHS vaccination invite and the vaccination centres will be operating strictly by appointment only. Members of the public are asked not to arrive at the centres without prior appointment.