With almost 246,000 COVID-19 jabs delivered, partners across the borough will be celebrating a job well done as Walsall’s Saddlers Vaccination Centre closes its doors for the final time today.
The centre first opened on 15 March 2021 in the Saddlers Shopping Centre before relocating to Bridgeman Street in the town centre in April this year.
The vital vaccination effort has been led by Walsall Together, a partnership of health, social, housing, voluntary and community association organisations.
Matthew Dodd, Interim Director of Integration at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Everyone who has been involved with supporting COVID-19 vaccination in Walsall should be proud of what their collective efforts have achieved.
“They have stepped up to play their part in keeping our communities as safe as possible during an extremely frightening time for us all. In its early days, the centre delivered up to 1,000 vaccinations a day but there were times when up to 1,700 people turned up. Some travelled from as far afield as Wales and Essex.
“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved – in whatever capacity. Visitors to the centre have spoken of the warm welcome they received, the efficient service and the kind and friendly staff they met.”
There are still plenty of ways to get vaccinated in the Black Country for people who require their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, including vaccination centres at Tipton Sports Academy in Sandwell, Saltwells Vaccination Centre in Dudley and the Mander Centre, Wolverhampton – in addition to a wide range of local pop-up clinics and community pharmacies.
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board and local vaccination programme lead, said: “Our vaccination programme has been an amazing success and I want to thank everyone who has come forward and done their part to protect our most vulnerable and help us get back to normal life across the Black Country.
“Our offer of vaccination is evergreen and it’s never too late to get protected, so please do visit one of our walk-in services or book your appointment at a local clinic as soon as you can, and don’t forget to take up the offer of an autumn booster if you are eligible, to top up your immunity ahead of winter.”
People who are eligible for their COVID-19 booster vaccinations will be contacted by the NHS directly. Once invited, eligible people will be able to book an appointment online via the National Booking System or by calling 119, as long as it has been three months since their last dose.
If you need a first or second dose, you can also use the National Booking System online or call 119 to find your local walk-in service or make an appointment at a clinic near you.