CORONAVIRUS: First injections given out as Boston mass vaccination hub opens its doors

The first large-scale vaccination in the Midlands got underway in Boston this morning.

Linda Stockwell of the Vaccination hub

Jabs were delivered from around 11am this morning as the hub at the Princess Royal Sports Arena - amongt the first of its kind in the country - opened its doors.

Those vaccinated were delighted to get the jab.

Anne, from Sleaford, who is 82, said it was "fantastic", adding she didn't even feel the needle going in.

One of the fist jabs today

It will deliver between 1,000 and 1,500 vaccinations a day when it is fully operational.

The site, like other large vaccination sites, will initially be vaccinating people in the key priority groups (residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, those aged 70 and over, frontline health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable), to ensure that meet the targets set by the government.

The first patients in those groups who live within 45 minutes of each site are being contacted and offered the site as a choice for their vaccination appointment.

Lynda Stockwell is the Clinical and Operational Lead for the Princess Royal Sports Arena vaccination centre.

The vaccination centre

“I am a nurse and I live in Boston so I am absolutely thrilled and excited because this means I can contribute to the fabulous team around me and make sure that our local community can have their Covid-19 vaccinations and keep safe.

“Residents will get an invitation through the post. They will be invited to either call a number or book online.

“Marshalls will be greeting people as they arrive and making sure they have used hand sanitiser and are wearing a face covering.

“After the jab, they will be asked to wait around 15 minutes so staff can ensure they are safe to drive.

“After the 15 minutes is up, people are free to leave out the main exit.

“I am really excited that we can actually start doing the vaccinations here in Boston.

“For me this is the first step towards a new normal.”

Anne said it gave her peace of mind. "You can't believe how many people have have lost a relative."

She said she jumped at the chance to get the jab when she got her letter on Friday, and was relieved it had now been done.

Rebecca Neno, Deputy Chief Nurse of Lincolnshire NHS CCG said she was ‘honoured’ to have been involved in the process of setting up the centre, and thanked fellow NHS staff, the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum and military partners for their support.

She was also full of praise for the many volunteers who have stepped forward to offer their services.

“From an NHS perspective, we have ran a recruitment campaign - we have been advertising for staff for several months - and we have brought those people together to work in a new team,” she said.

“From a volunteers perspective, they are from across Lincolnshire to help support us in all of our locations, not just this one.

“Across Lincolnshire we have been asking people to come and help.

“Currently we are good to go on a volunteer perspective but this is a marathon not a sprint so I am sure as people come onboard, some people may step off as well.

“So we are always looking for more people to become involved, not necessarily now but certainly as we progress down those cohorts of the population we need to vaccinate.

“Volunteers are a range of people - we absolutely have people who work in the NHS or local government where they would want to come and volunteer and do more, we have retired people who are coming to give us more hours of volunteering so it really is a mix of individuals performing a mix of roles, whether it be coming in to do some administrative work, observing people in the observation area to just chaperoning people through who need some assistance. There are a range of roles people will be undertaking.

“There has been a core team of us working on this from the Autumn, even before we had any secure supplier of vaccinations.

“The planning has been going on for many months and of course based on a lot of uncertainties, so what we have needed to develop is models that can be changed depending on which vaccine comes or which priority group we will be vaccinating.

“It has been a number of months but clearly we had a team thinking about the best way we could deliver this in Lincolnshire.

“I have been really honoured to have been a part of this whole process, I am overwhelmed by the work that our staff within the NHS, staff within the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum and military partners have put in to really get this off the ground in a really swift but essentially safe way.”