The move is prompted by the reduction in vaccination capacity at Ashton Gate as Lockdown eases and the stadium prepares for the full return of fans in August, with Bristol City kicking off the Sky Bet Championship campaign hosting Blackpool (3pm KO).
Ashton Gate Vaccination Centre opened on 11 January as the UK’s first Mass Vaccination Centre. Sitting alongside 19 GP-led clinics, 15 community pharmacies vaccination sites and 2 hospital hubs (now closed), the Centre has contributed BNSSG’s strong uptake, with vaccinations in the area higher than the national average across all age groups.
Mark Kelly, Managing Director, Ashton Gate Stadium, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to help play such a vital role in the vaccination programme here in the South West. The stadium sits in the heart of its community and when we redeveloped it as a multi-use venue, we could never have imagined what was to unfold. We are thankful we’ve been able to help and wish our newfound friends and colleagues in the NHS the very best.
“We now look forward to the full return fans and guests to the stadium and will continue to support the NHS in any way we can, including the smooth transition of the vaccination centre from Ashton Gate to UWE.”
Dr Tim Whittlestone, Clinical Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in BNSSG, said: “It is a bittersweet moment for our Vaccination Programme as we deliver the final vaccinations at Ashton Gate and fully transition to the large scale Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol. From the outset, the team at Ashton Gate have been fantastic partners. On an optimistic note, the prospect of Ashton Gate fully returning to being an amazing sports facility and events venue reassures us that life will return to normal. On behalf of the Programme, I’d like to thank everyone at the Stadium for their incredible support over the last seven months.”
People affected have been contacted by a text message from the National Booking Service (NBS) letting them know that the location of their appointment has changed. There is no need to contact the NHS about their appointment. If the change of location is unsuitable, people can amend their first or second appointment by logging into the National Booking Service and selecting ‘manage my booking’. Alternatively, they can call 119 or an up to date list of all the walk-in clinics in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) can be found at www.grabajab.net.