A new roving vaccination service is being set up for Leeds, as the COVID-19 vaccination programme moves into its next phase.
Building on the success of the outreach vaccination clinics in local communities, the service will provide a wide range of clinics and temporary ‘pop ups’ across the city.
This will replace the large-scale centre at Elland Road and offer a more flexible approach, allowing the service to respond to the needs of different patient cohorts. These include all 5-11 year olds, who will be offered jabs from next month.
Sam Prince, Senior Responsible Officer for the Leeds vaccination programme, explained:
“Vaccinations are still vitally important to ensure we keep Covid at bay. We have been looking at how we can best meet the needs of people who have not yet been vaccinated, as well as delivering the latest recommendations regarding vaccinations for all 5-11 year olds and ‘Spring boosters’ for people at greatest risk from Covid-19.
“Feedback from patients and community organisations also tells us that this roving approach will help us to meet the different needs of all our different communities as effectively as possible and ensure that vaccinations continue to be easy and convenient to access for people across the city.”
The vaccination centre at Elland Road will close on 25 March and the team working there will become part of the new roving service offering vaccinations across the city. This will be in addition to the services already offered by local GPs and community pharmacies.
Ms Prince also paid tribute to the hard work of all those involved in the Elland Road centre and said they had played a vital role in protecting people:
“The Elland Road centre has been a real #TeamLeeds effort and played a huge part in getting large numbers of people across the city vaccinated as quickly as possible. Thanks to the efforts of the NHS, the council, the third sector and volunteers who have been involved from day one, hundreds of thousands of people in Leeds have been protected against COVID-19, reducing their risk of being admitted to hospital or sadly dying. So thank you to each and every person who has been involved.”
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Throughout the pandemic, the Elland Road vaccination centre has been a symbol of an extraordinary collective effort to protect our city and its communities from COVID.
“Leeds will forever be indebted to the remarkable staff and volunteers there who have selflessly and tirelessly done so much to keep hundreds of thousands of us safe and vaccinated.
“As the vaccine programme evolves, this is a fitting moment to reflect on everything we have accomplished together and to offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those whose determination and compassion have helped us reach this point and who will continue to do so in the future.”
Anyone needing a vaccination can book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. Details of local walk-in clinics are also available at www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine/walk-in-clinics/