Covid vaccination hub opening in Westfield next week

Westfield vaccination hub

The centre opens next week and will be appointment only - Credit: East London NHS Foundation Trust

A new Covid vaccination hub is opening in an empty shop space at Westfield shopping centre, Stratford, next week.

The centre has been set up by the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), who will run the programme which it says will vaccinate "thousands a day".

It will be operated on an appointment only basis and open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm.

Dr Paul Gilluley, ELFT's chief medical officer, said: "It has been a mammoth project to get the Westfield Covid vaccination centre up and running in a matter of weeks but staff at ELFT have really come together to make it a success.

Staff being vaccinated at Westfield hub

Staff have been getting vaccinated over the past fortnight - Credit: East London NHS Foundation Trust

"Everyone is proud to have been able to play their part in providing a central point for the public to get the Covid vaccine.

"It is another step along the way to protecting people from the virus and helping our local communities to get back on their feet."

People will be contacted to attend, based on the government's priority list.

Vaccination hub at Stratford Westfield

The hub has been set up in empty retail space - Credit: East London NHS Foundation Trust

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It will be providing the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, which is given in two doses between four and 12 weeks apart. Each visit is expected to take around 20 minutes per person.

Dr Gilluley added: "I urge everyone to get the vaccine when they are called.

"But we need to remember that we can still spread coronavirus even when vaccinated so we still need to wear masks or face coverings, wash our hands regularly throughout the day and keep 2 metres away from one another."

The unit has been fitted with an assessment area, six vaccination pods, a pharmacy area, a sluice area and a staff rest area.

It will take around 20 minutes for each person to be vaccinated

It will take around 20 minutes for each person to be vaccinated - Credit: East London NHS Foundation Trust

ELFT has been using the vaccination centre for the past two weeks to vaccinate its staff and to test procedures and processes before opening to the public.

Scott Parsons, UK chief operating officer, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “The service will be a huge benefit to our local community which has been particularly hard hit by the current crisis.

"I’m very proud of our onsite team who has worked hard to support the delivery of the centre which launches to the public on Monday following two weeks of operation for NHS staff."

ELFT covers east London boroughs including Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.