Sandwell vaccination site marks one-year anniversary
A flagship Sandwell vaccination centre has delivered more than 140,000 lifesaving COVID-19 jabs in its first year.
Tipton Sports Academy has played an instrumental role in the vaccine roll out, administering first, second and booster doses, and is Sandwell’s largest and busiest vaccination centre.
Louise Brown, Clinical and Operations Lead at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs the centre, said: “What a year it’s been since the vaccination centre opened its doors. I am immensely proud of our brilliant staff and volunteers – many of whom have been with us since day one and dedicated to their role.
“A great deal of work went into setting the site up as a vaccination hub last year and it was really important to us that vaccines were available locally and in a convenient location for members of the public to access.”
Accessibility has been an ongoing theme at the centre, and the team has offered a variety of specialised clinics to help make the process more comfortable. These include a learning disability clinic, women-only sessions and a language interpreter clinic including British Sign Language. There have also been sessions for faith groups and health and social care workers.
More recently, the site has transformed an area into a mini toy town to help cater to young children, which includes colourful shop fronts, road markings, a treasure hunt and toys.
Nena Mason, Clinical Lead at the centre, said: “I don’t think any of us thought we’d be here for a year. It’s been an amazing journey, right from setting up the centre, to catering for each of the cohorts. We started with protecting adults, then moved onto 12-17-year-olds and are now vaccinating those aged five to 11. It really has been a journey.
“Everyone at the site wants to thank those from around the Sandwell borough who have come forward and had their vaccine with us.”
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and local vaccination programme lead, said: “Having Tipton Sports Academy on board has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the number of jabs we’ve been able to deliver across the area.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved including Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and Sandwell Council, as well as everyone that has come forward for their vaccinations so far.
“Our offer of a vaccine is evergreen and I strongly encourage anyone who is due a dose to come forward. It’s never too late, your vaccine is waiting for you whether it’s for your first dose, second dose or booster.”
Children aged 12 and over and all adults are eligible to receive a first dose. Second doses are currently available for people aged 12 to 17 who had their first dose twelve weeks ago, and anyone over the age of 18 who had their first dose eight weeks ago.
All adults over 18 who had their second dose three months ago are eligible for their booster jab. Children aged five to 11 who have a qualifying health condition or live with someone who is immunocompromised, are also being invited to receive a single reduced dose.
Tipton Sports Academy offers COVID-19 vaccines seven days a week, Monday to Sunday, with walk-in appointments available.
Appointments can also be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 119.