The NHS is about to deliver the largest vaccination programme in its history, with three different delivery routes for the COVID-19 vaccine. These are:
- Hospital hubs
- Vaccination centres – large sites convenient for transport networks
- Local vaccine services – provided by GPs and pharmacies
Now that we have a vaccine that has been confirmed as safe and effective by the MHRA, we can begin to roll it out to those groups who the independent JCVI* have decided need it most when the supplies are available to us. To help to deliver the roll out, UCLH has partnered with the Francis Crick Institute to set up a new large scale vaccination centre.
We will shortly begin to invite people to come to the centre to receive their vaccine. As there is a limit to parking facilities in the local area, we will be encouraging patients to use public transport to come to their appointment.
The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn so please don’t seek a vaccine before then, as the centre will not be operating on a “walk in” or “on request” basis. We do not anticipate any disruption to those who live or work near the site. However, if you have any questions or concerns you can read the answers to some specific questions we have anticipated we may receive below.
* Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – the independent committee of experts which advises UK health departments on immunisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The NHS is working extremely hard to be able to begin providing the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. However, this is a huge logistical challenge and so we cannot yet provide an opening date for the local vaccination centre at the Francis Crick Institute. However, we are aiming for the end of January.
We will aim to provide vaccinations between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.
The NHS is working extremely hard to be able to begin providing the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. However this is a huge logistical challenge and the number of people we can invite for vaccination will depend on the level of vaccine stocks we receive. At a maximum, the centre has been designed to deliver just over 1000 vaccinations per day.
We are very aware of the need to minimise any possible disruption to local residents and businesses. Patients will be asked to use public transport to attend their appointment to avoid additional traffic in the area.
As patients must not come for an appointment if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 we do not expect this to translate into any additional risk in the local community. Patients should also follow the expected social distancing and hygiene guidance while on public transport and in the Institute.
When it is the right time people will receive a letter either from their GP or the national booking system inviting them to make an appointment. We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we would ask people not to come to the centre without an appointment, or contact the NHS to get an appointment until they get their letter.
We have put plans in place to ensure the stocks of vaccine are protected and are working closely with The Metropolitan Police. However, these measures will not impact on local residents or businesses. There are security guards at the Francis Crick Institute.
The site that is being used for vaccinations is usually an exhibition space and a teaching lab. As these activities cannot take place during lockdown, there is no additional impact for the institute at this time.
We have carried out internal works to ensure that the centre can operate in a fully COVID-secure way. Those attending will be reminded to sanitise their hands frequently, wear a facemask (unless exempt) and maintain social distancing.