Westfield’s Stratford City shopping centre has been transformed into a COVID-19 vaccination centre aiming to provide thousands of shots every day.
Westfield’s east London shopping hub opened six vaccination pods, an assessment area, a pharmacy area and a sluice area on Monday, which is now open to the public from 8am to 8pm every day.
The new site, which can reportedly expand rapidly to meet demand, was set up by the East London NHS Foundation Trust.
“It has been a mammoth project to get the Westfield COVID Vaccination Centre up and running in a matter of weeks but staff have come together to make it a success,” the trust’s chief medical officer Dr Paul Gilluley said.
“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.”
The site is one of hundreds springing up across the country and is currently only administering the vaccine to priority patients who have be contacted by the government.
Many retailers have come to the aid of the NHS to help roll out and administer the vaccine, offering everything from their logistics networks to their empty stores.
High street pharmacies including Boots, Superdrug and four others, which have been picked for their ability to deliver large volumes of the vaccine and allow social distancing, began administering the vaccine last week.
By the end of the month, it’s expected that more than 200 high street pharmacies with capacity for 1000 doses a week will be able to give vaccines, according to NHS England.
Tesco has offered the use of its considerable logistics network to help distribute the vaccine, while Morrisons has offered to transform its carparks into drive-through vaccination centres.
Earlier this month, Bensons for Beds also announced it was offering its store estate, which is closed amid the national lockdown, to act as make-shift vaccination centres.