Derby Arena will become Derbyshire’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site tomorrow [JANUARY 7], while the number of primary care sites more than doubles and the county’s vaccination programme continues to accelerate.

As well as Derby Arena, the new wave of site openings includes Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross, and these two sites are the first in the county to be converted from public spaces to carry out vaccinations. So far, vaccinations in Derbyshire have been carried out in care homes or at NHS facilities such as hospitals and GP surgeries.

Vaccinations at the Arena are being carried out by five Primary Care Networks (PCNSs) working together, representing 30 GP practices around the city. Vaccinations are all by appointment only.

People should not contact their GP about a vaccination unless asked to do so, and should not attend any vaccination site without an appointment.

Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is managing the rollout of the vaccine across the county, and CCG medical director Dr Steve Lloyd said the opening of the Arena was another big step forward.

“Carrying out vaccinations at Derby Arena means we can provide this vital vaccine to more people even more quickly in a really important population centre. Teams from the PCN, the Arena and Derby Council have worked incredibly hard to get this vaccination centre up and running, and I’m really proud of their efforts.

“This continues the progress we have made, beginning with vaccinations in our two largest hospitals in early December, then moving to primary care sites and then to care homes before Christmas. The speed with which our teams have managed to achieve this is a tribute to their dedication and professionalism.”

Derby City Council Leader, Councillor Chris Poulter, welcomed the opening as part of Derby’s ongoing COVID response:

“The use of Derby Arena as a vaccination site is a very positive step in our efforts to reduce cases of COVID in the city, and I want to thank all involved who have worked so hard to make it possible.

“We have every confidence that this commitment to efficiency and protection of Derby’s citizens will continue throughout the roll-out.”

Dr Robyn Dewis, Director of Public Health, Derby City Council, also urged the need for caution in light of growing case numbers nationwide:

“It is an extremely welcome sight to see the opening of the Arena as a vaccination site, and I hope that the national programme will go some way to providing protection for vulnerable citizens and our frontline health and social care workers.

“However, it is important that we remember that these efforts will only be effective if we also continue to individually play our part in bringing down transmission. As we have now moved into new national restrictions, it is vital that we stay at home unless for essential reasons to help support the ongoing work against COVID-19.”

As well as Derby Arena, the new wave of openings includes four other vaccination sites:

  • Babington Hospital, Belper
  • St Oswald’s Hospital, Ashbourne
  • Thornbrook Surgery, Whaley Bridge
  • Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Clay Cross

This new wave of openings means Derbyshire now has nine primary care vaccination sites, joining facilities in Dronfield, Ripley, Long Eaton and Bakewell, plus the two hospital hubs at Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Thornbrook Surgery is one of first vaccination site to open in the High Peak area, and is also the most northern site so far, while St Oswald’s Hospital in Ashbourne is on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park.

Central Derbyshire has two new sites, at Babington Hospital in Belper and Sharley Park Leisure Centre in Clay Cross.

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more sites over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre.