On 26th January, local healthcare services opened West Yorkshire’s first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centre. Three months on, staff have vaccinated 50,000 people at the Wakefield site.
Wakefield together against COVID-19
The vaccination premises (Navigation Walk) is the corporate headquarters of Spectrum Community Health. Converted from office space into a vaccination hub, the first floor of the building has been open seven days per week since January. Each day, staff from Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust vaccinate hundreds of patients in line with the national priority groups.
On 28th April, Przemysław Miller, 46, became the 50,000th patient vaccinated at the site.
Mr Miller said, “Before the vaccine was announced, it was harder to live our lives. It was scary – we saw that the virus could affect anyone, people were losing their lives because they weren’t able to fight it and we weren’t able to heal them. I wanted to be part of the fight against the virus so I thought, “Okay, I’m going to get the vaccination”. Of course, the vaccination can’t wipe out the virus from our lives but it will hopefully protect us from complications. Having the vaccine is a chance to get one step closer to the normal life we had before the pandemic.”
Martin Barkley, Chief Executive at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “To have reached this milestone is a tremendous achievement. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in every aspect of the Community Vaccination Centre. From the planning, set up and booking of the appointments to the administering of the vaccines and caring for patients afterwards, it has been and continues to be, a huge team effort. It has and continues to make a very big contribution to protecting local people from the harm that that Covid can cause.”
Staff from Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are administering vaccinations at the premises, as well as across a number of other primary care sites.
Mr Miller added, “We know that to be fully protected, we need to have the second dose so I will still be following the guidelines and social distancing. In that sense it’s not a moment to celebrate, it’s just the first step – but in my mind I know that in 12 weeks, I’ll get the second dose and my body will be better-prepared to fight the virus if I did become ill.”
“I would encourage others to get the vaccination. Some people are afraid to have any kind of vaccine but I think, if you can do something to protect your life and the lives of your close relatives and friends, that’s a good thing.”
Book your COVID-19 Vaccination
You can currently book a COVID-19 vaccination if you are 40 or over.