Leeds United Women's star on hand at COVID-19 vaccination centre.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme across Leeds and West Yorkshire has taken a big step forward this week as a large new vaccination centre in the region, at Elland Road, opened as an additional choice for those receiving their invitation letter to get vaccinated from the NHS.
In the space of several weeks, the Centenary Pavilion, well-known by Leeds United supporters, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art vaccination centre, optimised to stream the local population through their vaccination journey in less than 30 minutes.
The centre opened officially on Monday morning to the local community of Leeds and those travelling up to 45 minutes, but it has been operating as a hospital hub for the past two weeks, prioritising the vaccination of frontline workers.
Olivia Smart, player for Leeds United Women and Advanced Practitioner for Leeds Training Hospitals' Transplant Team, has been part of the vaccinating set-up since December - volunteering in her spare time to help with the process of vaccinating as many people as possible throughout the city of Leeds. The defender was on hand at the Elland Road Vaccination Hub on Monday morning to administer the first jab for a member of the public at the new accessible centre, a place where she will regularly volunteer her time over the next few months like many of her colleagues.
Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said; “We’re delighted to open Elland Road to the first priority groups of the general public. The centre will be a hugely positive benefit to the vaccination programme both now and over the next few months, and an additional choice for people as they are invited to get their vaccine.”
Transforming the Centenary Pavilion into a vaccination centre has been a truly collaborative partnership across Leeds, involving the NHS and support from Leeds City Council, IT specialists, security teams and Leeds United Football Club. The first group from the general public this week will be those in priority cohorts 1-4, which includes those over 70 years of age, as part of the government target to have these priority groups vaccinated by mid-February.
Elland Road is one of 23 vaccination hubs across the city that people will be invited to make an appointment at in addition to their GP practice.