The Riverside Centre in Newport opened as a large-scale Covid-19 vaccination centre this week, meaning more Islanders will be able to book their jabs as part of the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen.
From Monday (February 1) the centre has been open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm offering vaccinations to people in the priority groups identified by the government. People will need an appointment to get their vaccine, with most invited by letter and then booking an appointment through the national booking system or calling 119. If no appointments are available on the Island the system may offer one on the mainland. Residents should not travel to the mainland but continue to check the system regularly until a slot on the Island is available. The system will not allow you to book an appointment until your letter has been generated.
People who book into the Riverside Centre will be greeted by a dedicated team of clinicians, vaccinators, administrative staff and volunteers, who will help make a visit run as smoothly and safely as possible. Bookings are staggered to allow social distancing and everyone will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.
Dr Dan Baylis, Chief Medical Officer at Solent NHS Trust, who are running the large-scale vaccination centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: “We are excited to be delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme at scale to help protect people living on the Isle of Wight from Covid-19.
“This vaccination roll-out is thanks to the fantastic partnerships we are building on the Island with healthcare partners and community organizations. We are particularly grateful to everyone who has volunteered to support us at the centre through Community Action Isle of Wight.
“I would encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19 when they are invited by the NHS.”
Dr Michele Legg, GP and chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As well as having four GP-led vaccination sites and the St Mary’s Hospital Hub, having a sixth will really help us vaccinate our residents as quickly as vaccinations reach us.
“It is great news that the opening of the vaccination centre will help us provide the first dose to many more people. This alone will not slow the spread of this virus. We must continue to wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds, wear a face covering outdoors and maintain social distancing. I want to thank everyone for all their efforts in keeping this up over the past 10 months and make a plea that they continue to do so.”
The first person to be vaccinated in the Riverside Centre was 71-year-old Paul Carpenter from Ryde. He said: “I was really keen to have my vaccine and it feels brilliant. I feel it’s a step closer to being able to see my grandchildren who live in London.”
People who are being vaccinated can access the Riverside Centre by car via Fairlee Road, through Seaclose, with no access to the harbour via Sea Street. Pay and display parking and drop off points will be available on the harbour.
When leaving vehicles can exit over the bridge via Sea Street or via Seaclose and Fairlee Road. Pedestrians can access the site from any direction.