Theme park joins NHS COVID vaccine drive

Thorpe Park Resort will today (Thursday) join the roll-call of iconic locations to take part in the NHS COVID vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history and fastest in the world.

Theme park staff and visitors will be able to get the life-saving jab by dropping into the pop-up clinic – the home of The Swarm, Nemesis Inferno and Colossus.

NHS staff and volunteers will offer a first jab to anyone adult who has not yet taken up the offer or a second to those who are due one. The pop-up site will be offering Pfizer doses.

The clinic is part of a concerted effort to target those who have not yet got around to being jabbed, particularly young people who often take seasonal jobs such as those at theme parks.

Patients will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after their jab and then given the green light to go back to work or enjoying their day out.

Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England medical director for primary care and deputy senior responsible officer for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “For our brilliant staff and volunteers there is nothing more thrilling than protecting people against Covid-19 and after reaching more than 39 million people, the NHS vaccine programme rollout continues to scale new heights.

“As the NHS’s success helps the country get back to normal, we know that people and particularly young people, are leading busier lives so whether you are queuing for the Colossus or staffing the ice cream kiosk, we are making getting a jab as easy as possible.

“Thorpe Park is just the latest pop-up clinic and so I would urge anyone yet to get their vaccine to come forward and attend a walk-in site, or book online – it remains the best way to protect yourself and your loves ones.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “From historic sites such as the British Science Museum, to huge entertainment events like Latitude Festival, we have worked to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is easily accessible.

“This new pop-up clinic at Thorpe Park is a fantastic opportunity for theme park enthusiasts, young people and families to get a vaccine while they enjoy a day out.

“Already 3 in 5 adults ages 18-24 have received a first jab, which is excellent progress – I urge all those yet to get their first or second dose to take advantage of the hundreds of pop-ups around the country and help us cautiously get back to normality.”

The NHS is continuing to encourage vaccine uptake by jabbing at convenient locations and popular destinations, including Goodwood races, London’s Summer of Love Festival, Felixstowe seafront and Burnley FC’s football ground, as well as community hubs including places of worships and shopping centres.

So far, the largest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history has delivered more than 70 million doses, with nine in ten adults receiving their first dose of vital protection against the virus.

Meanwhile, nearly seven in 10 people aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated after receiving both doses, more than 30 million people, and health leaders are continuing to urge anyone yet to get their jab to come forward and take up the offer to protect themselves, their friends and family.

Last weekend, the NHS hosted walk ins at major events including Ascot races and Latitude Festival, jabbing thousands of people over the course of the weekend.

Dr Charlotte Canniff, Clinical Chair, Surrey Heartlands CCG said: “This is a great opportunity to reach people who have not yet taken up the offer of a first vaccine or had their second jab. I would encourage anyone in this position to get vaccinated. Thanks to Thorpe Park for their support.”

Everyone aged 18 or over is now eligible for a lifesaving COVID-19 jab and the NHS is urging people to come forward as soon as possible.

The NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.

Since then the NHS Vaccination Programme, the biggest in health service history, fastest in Europe and most precise in the world, has jabbed over 39 million people across the country – more than 85% of all adults.

The NHS continues to send text messages to adults to remind them to bring forward their second jab forward to eight weeks, in line with updated JCVI guidance.

So far more than two thirds of all adults have had both doses and are fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

People who attended a walk-in clinic for their first dose will have their vaccination record updated online and will then be able to book in their second dose appointment using the national booking system.

Anybody who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.