Gorebridge Leisure Centre opens as mass vaccination centre

NHS Lothian opened a new mass vaccination centre in Midlothian last week with help from the Armed Forces.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:08 am
Phil Whittaker was vaccinated by Corporal Cameron Jobson-Wood of the British Army’s Medical Corp

Gorebridge Leisure Centre will welcome thousands of people through its doors to receive the Covid-19 vaccination as the roll-out programme continues across Lothian.

Vaccinators from the Armed Forces will administer the jabs at the centre, which has nine stations and the capacity to provide 2,975 injections each week.

Pat Wynne, Director of Nursing for Primary and Community Care at NHS Lothian, said: “It’s brilliant to see the further roll out of our vaccination programme, with the opening of our latest mass vaccination centre.

“It will also allow us to better serve our communities in Midlothian by having a mass vaccination venue closer to home and allow us to start inviting more priority groups for vaccination.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of the work and effort done by our teams to get this venue up and running. It has taken a lot of work, but we are now seeing the delivery of this lifesaving vaccine to even more people across Lothian.”

NHS Lothian’s vaccination programme is continuing at pace as supplies allow. It has now completed priority groups one-six, with priority group seven currently being finished.

Mr Wynne added: “We have already vaccinated the vast majority of the first six priority groups, totalling around 300,000 people who have now had their first dose of the vaccine.

“These first six groups include frontline health and social care staff; care home staff and residents; people over the age of 65 and the clinically vulnerable and extremely vulnerable.

“When you receive an appointment, I really would urge you to keep it, even if it is at a centre which is not closest to your home. Attending your appointment is the most important thing you will do this year.”

The Duty Officer at Gorebridge Vaccination Centre, Phil Whittaker, was among the first to be vaccinated.

Mr Whittaker said: “It was absolutely painless and it’s definitely something of a relief to know I’ve had it.

“While it does make you feel safer, I’ll not be changing my lifestyle in the sense I’ll still be following all the coronavirus stay at home guidance.”