Today, Andrew Pollard, Professor of Pediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, and chief investigator of the trials of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine, volunteered his time to help deliver live-saving Covid vaccinations at the newly opened NHS Vaccine Centre at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.
The first such large scale centre to be set up by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, the Kassam Stadium, home to the city’s League One football side, will be open to the public by invite-only, seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm, as part of the national effort to vaccinate against COVID-19.
Prof. Pollard said:
‘To see a vaccination centre in Oxford delivering the vaccine that was developed in the city is a great moment. So much hard work has gone into getting to this stage from the researchers developing the vaccine and the Oxford Health team making all the arrangements to set up and run an efficient vaccination centre. Many volunteers from Oxfordshire took part in the clinical trials and it is a huge credit to their commitment that we can benefit from this vaccine today.
‘We anticipate that the vaccination of as many people as possible as soon as possible will start to have a big impact on hospitalisations and is something everyone has been hoping for. However, vaccination is only one part of the story - people should continue to follow public health measures, such as observing the rules of lockdown, social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands until we get the virus back under control.’
The new vaccination centre will kick off by vaccinating priority front line patient-facing staff who work on community and mental health wards as well as in the community via services like district nursing, before opening its doors to patients.
People aged 75 and over will shortly be invited via the national booking system to make an appointment for their first vaccination of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the Kassam. If they cannot or do not want to travel to a vaccination centre people can wait to be invited to be immunised by a local GP service or hospital hub.
People are reminded not to turn up to the Kassam Stadium without an appointment.