NHS staff will start delivering life-saving Covid-19 vaccinations at the former Wickes site in Mansfield as part of the biggest immunisation programme in health service history.
The Mansfield Vaccination Centre joins 31 other new sites opening across the country this week as the vaccination drive continues to accelerate.
People aged 75 and over who live within a 45 minute drive of the centre are being invited to book their vaccination.
Among the first to receive the vaccination at the Mansfield site was Mr and Mrs Holland. Geoff (90) and Jenny (86) met and fell in love while living at Town View, Mansfield District Council’s independent living scheme for the over 55s.
The couple were due to be married on Jenny’s birthday in April 2020 but their special day had to be postponed due to COVID-19.
Mrs Holland, who became engaged to Geoff on New Year’s Eve 2019, said: “We had a fight on our hands to get married. We eventually went ahead on the only available date – 22 August – with just two witnesses.
“We’re really excited to be getting the vaccine – hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to have a get together and celebrate with our family and friends who couldn’t be there on the day.”
After their ceremony, the couple went out for a meal with four guests but were unable to have the music and dancing that they had planned, or share a wedding cake with the other residents of Town View.
Throughout the pandemic, Geoff’s daughter, Mrs Kathryn Turner and her husband Roger, of Mansfield Woodhouse, have only seen the couple very briefly when they drop shopping off at the main door.
Kathryn said: “We have missed them so much. They are so in love and such lovely people. It’s fantastic that they are getting the vaccine so their love story can continue. They are so independent and do everything together. Hopefully this will help us all get back to some sort of normality.”
Mrs Turner said that her father’s life had changed completely as a result of meeting Jenny in the summer of 2019. She said: “He needed either a walking frame or a mobility scooter but meeting Jenny has taken years off him – he looks 20 years younger. He only uses a walking stick now but sometimes he even forgets about it because he’s so busy holding her hand!”
It is important to note that the public will only receive a letter from the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service if they live within a 45 minute drive from one of these sites. Booking through this service will give the public the option of having the vaccine at a range of venues.
If people cannot or do not want to travel to a Vaccination Centre, they can be jabbed by a local vaccination site or hospital hub. We now have 11 sites in total across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
All booking lines for Covid-19 vaccine appointments are now open to both over 80s and over 75s across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. You can now book your appointments via the local booking system: https://www.swiftqueue.co.uk/nottinghamc19vpatient.php or by calling 0115 883 4640.
Amanda Sullivan, Accountable Officer for NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It’s great news that our large scale Vaccination Centre has opened its doors for the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
“We’ll be vaccinating as many people over 75 as possible in the days, weeks and months ahead. Our teams have been working hard to make sure residents feel safe at the centre, can maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
“From the nurses, doctors and pharmacists to the cleaners, security guards and volunteers – it’s been a real round-the-clock effort to transform this site. Thank you to everyone involved.”
For more information on the roll out of the vaccination programme in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire please visit: https://nottsccg.nhs.uk/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-in-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire/