West Yorkshire’s first large-scale Vaccination Centre launches in Wakefield

On Tuesday 26th January, Navigation Walk (Spectrum’s Head Office) opened its doors as the first large-scale vaccination centre in West Yorkshire.

Transformed into a clinical setting, the first floor of Navigation Walk is the first of four COVID-19 Vaccination centres to open in West Yorkshire – meaning thousands more appointments can be offered to patients and health and social care staff. On site, COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered by staff from Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with support from Spectrum.

Dr. Linda Harris, Chief Executive of Spectrum, said: “It’s really emotional (to be part of this). So many things about the pandemic create such negativity but this is something that as a healthcare provider, feels extremely positive. It’s the NHS working in partnership, at its best. It’s great that the centre is supplementing other sites where patients within those priority groups can receive their vaccination.”

Dr Phil Wood, Senior Responsible Officer for the West Yorkshire Vaccination Programme, added:

“We are delighted to be able to open our first large-scale vaccination centre. This will help us to vaccinate greater numbers of at risk people as quickly as possible and adds to the range of options that are available for people to choose from. Our other three centres will be opening over the next three weeks, which will help us to reach people in all areas of West Yorkshire.

“We have had a great response from people who have been invited for a vaccination so far but please do not worry if you are in one of the first four priority groups and haven’t been contacted yet. We are working hard to offer vaccinations to everyone in the first four priority groups as quickly as supplies allow and will contact everyone over the next few weeks to book their appointment.”

Large-scale Vaccination Centres

Large-scale vaccination centres are part of NHS plans to roll out the vaccine more widely, complementing local vaccination services being provided by groups of GPs. Before receiving a vaccination, people in the nationally agreed priority groups who live 30 to 45 minutes drive from any of the large vaccination centres are receiving an invitation letter from the NHS national booking service. This will explain how to book appointment at any of the centres that are open, including those at community pharmacies.

If patients prefer, they can wait to receive an invitation from their GP practice for an appointment at their local centre, or choose to wait for the other centres to open over the next few weeks.

Among the first patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination were Knottingley residents Richard Poskitt, 77, and his wife Linda. Mr Poskitt told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We’ve been waiting for months really, because my wife is clinically vulnerable. We’ve been shielding for a long time last summer and then shielding again now and it is a stress. In two or three weeks, when we’ve got the protection, it will be a big weight off. It’s a great day.”

In order to vaccinate as many people as possible, the new Centre at Navigation Walk will be open from 8am-8pm, 7 days per week.