Crystal Palace Football Club is donating Selhurst Park to the NHS to be used as a vaccination centre in the fight against coronavirus.
The stadium will become one of London’s biggest vaccination venues when it opens later this month, playing a pivotal role in administering the vaccine to vulnerable groups, alongside GP surgeries and primary care networks.
The club first offered the use of Selhurst Park to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic last March and when plans were drawn up to roll out the vaccine program it was identified as an ideal location for a mass vaccination hub.
Selhurst Park joins a host of other sports venues including Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Epsom Racecourse, Ashton Gate Stadium, Anfield and Brighton’s Amex Stadium in becoming vaccination hubs.
NHS staff and volunteers will take over the Glaziers Lounge in the Main Stand at Selhurst Park, which has been adapted to provide the necessary welfare facilities and to deliver the vaccine safely and efficiently whilst maintaining social distancing.
Vaccinations will only be issued to those who have received their NHS vaccination invite and the centre will operate by appointment only. Over 80s, care home residents and frontline health and social care staff have been identified as priority categories. Members of the public will be asked not to arrive without a prior appointment.
Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish said:
We are proud to be playing our part in helping the NHS deliver the vaccine to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Selhurst Park sits at the heart of our community so we were delighted to put our stadium at the disposal of the NHS.
Nothing could be more important than the rapid roll-out of the vaccine program to allow us all to return to something approaching normality.
Dr Nicola Jones, local GP and GP lead for the roll-out of the vaccine in south-west London, said:
Our teams have done an amazing job working quickly to get ready to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccinations, and we are immensely grateful for the support of organisations like Crystal Palace Football Club who are offering their time and facilities to help the NHS.
The coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective, and will offer people a vital defence against the virus, but we can’t be complacent, it is still so important that people continue to follow government guidance and keep their distance.
The NHS will invite eligible people for the vaccine at a set time to ensure those most at risk are prioritised, it is important not to contact your GP for a vaccination before then.
Image courtesy of Selhurst Park