Aldersley Leisure Village has been transformed into a Covid-19 vaccination site, and medical staff began delivering the life-saving jab to patients yesterday (Monday 1 February, 2021).
With the City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centre currently closed because of the national lockdown, the council has worked closely with Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group to enable it to play a key part in the vaccination programme. Those most at risk are being offered the vaccination first, and it will be rolled out to other groups in order of age and risk over the coming weeks and months. For details of the priority list, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus. The NHS will contact people when they become eligible for the vaccine; people should not contact their GP or pharmacy.
Among those getting their vaccine yesterday was Delroy Annon who said: "I didn't feel it at all, and I would advise anyone to take it because it could save your life - that's why I've taken it, so I can live a bit longer!”
Manjit Singh, 40, from Blakenhall, accompanied his father Surinder along to Aldersley for his vaccine. He said: "I have brought my dad here because it's good for his health and I am asking everyone to get their vaccine."
Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "Aldersley Leisure Village has already played an integral role in our fight against coronavirus, firstly as a food distribution hub during the lockdown last spring, and secondly as a drive-through test site. We are very happy to make the centre available again, this time to help with the vaccination drive.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccine as and when they are invited to do so, and Aldersley Leisure Village benefits from ample parking and good public transport links. The size of the building means we will also be able to upscale the number of vaccines that can be delivered from this site as and when required.
“This is a perfect example of what we can do together as a city to get as many vaccines done as quickly as possible, because the quicker we do it the quicker we can get back to some sort of normal life. Speak to your doctor, your GP, a nurse, a friend who works for the NHS; they'll tell you why it is important to have the vaccine, so when it is your time please don’t miss out.”
Dr Kam Ahmed, local GP and Primary Care Vaccination Lead for Wolverhampton, said: “Through integrated working with Wolverhampton CCG, local GPs and the City of Wolverhampton Council, we are now able to consolidate vaccine delivery sites and stand up a larger site which will allow us to work more efficiently and effectively. It will also ensure that we can increase footfall and our ability to roll out the vaccine as quickly as possible. We want to make it clear that vaccination alone doesn’t make the infection rates go up or down, it’s also about making sure that people maintain ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and lockdown rules. What we do want to do is defeat Covid by following social distancing and ensuring that you get your vaccine. We can help by ensuring that the vaccine is rolled out as quickly as possible to the residents of Wolverhampton.”
Alderley joins seven other sites in Wolverhampton which are currently delivering the Covid-19 vaccine. Mass vaccination sites have also opened at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley and Millennium Point in Birmingham.
There are three ways to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Wolverhampton. Eligible patients may be contacted by their GP to attend a local GP-led vaccination service, such as that at Aldersley Leisure Village, they may be invited to have their vaccine at a mass vaccination site, such as the Black Country Living Museum or they may receive the vaccine at a Hospital Hub, after a hospital stay or when attending for other appointments.
All the vaccines currently available have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. Further details of the lockdown restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, which include a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to the sense of taste or smell, must immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119.