The Saddlers Vaccination Centre opened its doors yesterday after months of hard work and planning by the Walsall Together Partnership.
It will be open seven days a week from 8am-8pm – delivering up to 1,000 vaccinations a day to begin with.
Daren Fradgley, Acting CEO, said: “We’d like to say an enormous thank you to our amazing staff and volunteers for their incredible hard work, and also to colleagues at the council for letting us use their premises for this vital vaccination programme”
Kelly Geffen, Community Divisional Director of Nursing, said: “We are so pleased to finally be opening the doors after what has been a huge partnership effort. I am so proud of all the nursing teams, healthcare professionals and volunteers who have undergone their training so we can begin vaccinating to protect our population and save lives.”
Neil Smith was the first person to be vaccinated at the centre. He said he has worked all through the pandemic so he was really pleased to be getting the vaccination and feels like it’s his best chance at staying safe.
Susan Parkes from Beechdale in Walsall also received her vaccination yesterday.
She has six grandchildren, one who was born on Valentine’s Day this year and she really wants to see them when she can knowing she is protected and she isn’t putting them at risk.
She said: “When I first heard about the vaccine I wasn’t going to have it but I changed my mind once it was announced. I think we should all be protected – it’s just something we need to do.
“We are all fed up and have had enough so hopefully this vaccine is the way forward now.”
Councillors Chris Bott and Diane Coughlan were also on site volunteering to help with the flow of people coming through the door.
Diane who is retired told us how she has been helping people throughout the pandemic “I’ve been volunteering and helping to deliver parcels and this was just another way to continue to help.”
Chris echoed this saying she thought the vaccination centre was great and said “it’s all about giving something back to the community.”