Covid: Derby Arena to be used for vaccinations

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image captionThe arena will be the largest vaccination hub in Derby and Derbyshire

Vaccinations against Covid-19 are due to get under way at Derby Arena.

The council-owned velodrome and sports centre will be the largest vaccine hub in Derbyshire when jabs begin on Thursday.

Derby City Council leader Chris Poulter called the NHS's use of the arena "a very positive step in our efforts to reduce cases of Covid in the city".

The arena will be used to treat people from 30 GP practices, with vaccinations by appointment only.

The venue is the largest of several sites in Derby and Derbyshire being used for vaccinations.

Other new sites include Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross, Babington Hospital, Belper, St Oswald's Hospital, Ashbourne and Thornbrook Surgery in Whaley Bridge.

They join sites in Dronfield, Ripley, Long Eaton and Bakewell, plus two hospital hubs at Royal Derby and Chesterfield Royal.

Dr Steve Lloyd, medical director of the Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: "Carrying out vaccinations at Derby Arena means we can provide this vital vaccine to more people even more quickly in a really important population centre."

image captionThe arena has hosted election counts in the past

Dr Robyn Dewis, Derby's director of public health, said: "It is an extremely welcome sight to see the opening of the arena as a vaccination site, and I hope the national programme will go some way to providing protection for vulnerable citizens and our frontline health and social care workers."

Derbyshire's first Covid-19 vaccinations took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the Royal Derby Hospital on 8 December.

So far, two vaccines have been approved in the UK: the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Care home residents, the over-80s and health and care workers are being prioritised for inoculations.

Derbyshire's health bosses said more vaccinations sites would be added over the next few weeks.

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