Mon, 22 Feb 2021
Reading’s Madejski Stadium will become one of the latest NHS vaccine centres to open today (Monday, February 22) offering Covid-19 vaccinations to those aged 65 and over and other eligible groups.
The centre will have capacity to deliver thousands of vaccines each week, working through the prioritisation lists set out by the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The site is being run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust as lead provider for large scale vaccination centres across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB).
People aged 65–69 can book appointments at the home of Reading FC via the NHS national booking service either by ringing 119 or visiting the dedicated website once they receive their invitation letter.
Earlier eligible groups who have not yet taken up a vaccination offer can also book an appointment at the centre.
This includes those aged 70/80+, as well as front line health and social care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions or unpaid carers should wait to be contacted by their GP for their vaccination.
Dr Abid Irfan from Berkshire West CCG said: “It’s great that we have this mass vaccination centre now up and running in Reading. It means we’ll be able to deliver the jabs at pace and this will play a critical role in the vaccination programme which has been working so well across Berkshire West since the first sites came on stream in December.
“I’d like to thank the project team involved in setting up the centre which will build on the great work already being done by our primary care colleagues across the healthcare system in Berkshire West.
“The Madejski Vaccination Centre also means our primary care teams will now be able to devote more time to the other healthcare needs of their patients. We’ve all worked incredibly hard to make sure our surgeries continue to provide the wide range of health and care services people need at the same time as rolling out the vaccination programme."
The Madejski Stadium joins a network of large-scale centres across the country offering Covid vaccines as part of the biggest mass vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.
Teams from Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) have been working with their Oxford Health colleagues for the last few weeks setting up the site.
Covid operations director for Oxford Health, Tehmeena Ajmal said: “I am delighted that our NHS Trust has been able to open a third vaccination centre (in addition to the Kassam Stadium in Oxford and Bucks New University in Aylesbury). This has been a genuine team effort, working with our local authority and health colleagues to set up an amazing site with the potential to deliver thousands of vaccines a week.”
Deputy chief executive from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nikki Richards, added: “We are really pleased to be able to support our public health colleagues during this challenging time. By deploying members of the team, we have been able to support the set-up of this mass vaccination centre and aid the NHS in the fight against Covid.
"Whilst our own critical emergency response continues to be of the utmost importance, we are committed to playing our part in the wider effort to support our communities during this unprecedented time.”
People are asked not to turn up to the stadium without an appointment as they will not be seen.
Appointments at the centre will be staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to help prevent queues building up. Masks must be worn at the site and people are asked to be patient and wait their turn.
Marshals will direct people the short walk from the car park to the centre and will also assist those with disabilities. There will also be trained professionals to support people with mental health problems and those who have language barriers.