Anfield is set to join the growing list of COVID-19 vaccination locations in Liverpool from this weekend.
The Reds’ home stadium will become the latest GP-led site in the city, adding to a network of vaccination services in the heart of local communities.
Acting as an extension of the local vaccination centres that are already in operation, Anfield will begin to welcome patients to receive the vaccine on Saturday.
All vaccinations are by appointment only. No drop-in vaccinations are available and members of the public who arrive at Anfield, or any other location, without a booking will not be vaccinated.
Those invited to receive their vaccination at the stadium will be people registered with a GP practice linked to the groups of practices who are using the site.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, a local GP and chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have been clear that we want to put vaccination centres close to where people live, so that we make it as easy as possible for our communities to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.
“We’re delighted to have the support of Liverpool Football Club for our latest vaccination location. Sport plays such an important role in the life of the city, so it’s really fitting that the club is helping us to protect our population and hopefully look forward to a point in the future when we can see some normality begin to return.
“It’s really important to stress that you can’t just turn up at Anfield or any of our local vaccination services – you’ll be invited to one when it’s your turn.
“Also, remember that even once you’ve had your vaccination you could still get or spread coronavirus so you need to continue to follow the rules and remember – hands, face, space.”
Billy Hogan, Liverpool FC’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the vaccine rollout as part of our continued support of the city and its crucial public health strategy, and we hope that Anfield will be an easily accessible location for people to get their vaccination when they are called.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to supporting our local communities and to bringing a sense of normality back to our city, and hopefully Anfield, again soon.”
Each of Liverpool’s 85 GP practices is linked to a local vaccination service, with eligible patients told which location they need to attend when they are invited to receive their vaccination.
Currently, the focus of the vaccine programme remains on the initial priority groups: residents in care homes for older residents, over 80s, frontline health and social care staff, over 70s, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
So far, more than 80 per cent of those aged over 80 have been vaccinated. The aim is to offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone in these groups by mid-February, with Liverpool currently on track to meet this target.
The use of Anfield as a vaccination site forms part of the local NHS’ plans for additional GP-led vaccination services in key neighbourhood locations across the city, rather than creating a larger central vaccination site.
In addition to these local GP-led vaccination services, there are a number of regional vaccination centres for use by people across Cheshire and Merseyside, including one in St Helens.
People who are eligible and have not already been vaccinated by their local GP-led vaccination service will receive letters from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book their appointment at one of these regional centres. This service also includes a number of community pharmacies.
Those who receive an invitation letter to use the regional services do not have to take up this option if they do not want to, and will still be contacted by their local GP-led vaccination centre in due course if they do not respond.
The GP-led vaccination centres and regional vaccination centres are in addition to hospital hub sites, run by NHS trusts, which are focused on vaccinating the local health and social care workforce.