25 January 2021

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A new COVID Vaccination Centre opens today at Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford in a vacant retail unit.  The Vaccination Centre, which will be run by ELFT, will be one of hundreds of nationwide centres set up to deliver the public COVID vaccination programme.

Attendance will be by appointment only. People will be contacted to attend according to the Government's priority list:  Government Priority List for COVID Vaccination

Dr Paul Gilluley, ELFT's Chief Medical Officer, has led on the project. He said, "It has been a mammoth project to get the Westfield COVID Vaccination Centre up and running in a matter of weeks but staff at ELFT have really come together to make it a success. Everyone is proud to have been able to play their part in providing a central point for the public to get the COVID vaccine. It is another step along the way to protecting people from the virus and helping our local communities to get back on their feet.

Able to Carry Out Thousands of Vaccinations
The centre will be open from 8.00am - 8.00pm seven days a week. When fully operational, the vaccination centre will be able to provide thousands of vaccinations a day.

The Trust will be administering the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine. This needs to be administered in two doses between 4 and 12 weeks apart, requiring two visits. Each visit will take approximately 20 minutes per person.

Dr Gilluley goes on to say,"I urge everyone to get the vaccine - when they are called. But we need to remember that we can still spread coronavirus even when vaccinated so we still need to wear masks or face coverings, wash our hands regularly throughout the day and keep 2m away from one another."

The unit has been fitted out with an assessment area, six vaccination pods, a pharmacy area, a sluice area and a staff rest area. 

Team Effort
The project has involved ELFT's estates team, pharmacy team, people and culture team, IT team, nurse trainers, medical staff, administrators, communication team and many others. ELFT is an Anchor Trust so tries to work with local trades providers and local businesses to keep the benefits of any investment in the pockets of local people to stimulate local employment and prosperity.

ELFT have been using the vaccination centre for the two preceding weeks to vaccinate their staff, and to test procedures and processes prior to opening to the public. 

A vaccinator recruitment and training programme is underway. The centre will be run by 93 staff. The Trust has had a great response from the public when asking for people to training as vaccinators, and to requests for volunteers to support the vaccination programme.

Good Transport Links
The Westfield COVID Vaccination Centre will be a key location for people living in north east London who are invited to attend for vaccination, but it is also expected to see attendance from people living in south west London and other parts of London due to its good transport links.

The Vaccination Centre can be found in the old IKEA Order and Collection Point opposite Tempur, Zara Home and David's Bridal shops.

There are also signs to the Vaccination Centre from the stations and the carparks.

ELFT have issued a Stratford Vaccination Centre Map to direct people from the station or car park. The Westfield Concierge Team or the Stratford Station staff will be able to direct anyone who needs help.* The Trust has enjoyed a great relationship with the Westfield Centre Management team and the Stratford Station management team who will direct anyone who loses their way!

Scott Parsons, UK Chief Operating Officer Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “Westfield Stratford City is delighted to be able to donate space to the NHS to create a large scale vaccination centre in the heart of Newham. The service will be a huge benefit to our local community which has been particularly hard hit by the current crisis. I’m very proud of our onsite team who has worked hard to support the delivery of the centre which launches to the public on Monday following two weeks of operation for NHS staff. This follows the successful collaboration we have had with the NHS on the Plasma Donor Centre at Stratford as well as the Hammersmith & Fulham Rapid Flow Testing Centre at Westfield London and we are very happy to assist with the rollout of the vaccination programme.”

* Stratford station operates a one-way passenger movement system from 7.00-8.30 and 17.00-18.30 to reduce contact between passengers as they use the station. This means that at these times, the Stratford City Exit is not open and people will exit at the other end of the station and need to walkover the footbridge. So you need to allow an extra 10 minutes to get to your appointment. People with mobility issues should make themselves known to station staff for advice on the best route.