Local NHS joins call from capital’s chief nurse: “Make sure that it’s football coming home this weekend – not COVID”

As the England team prepare for their match this weekend, Londoners are urged to follow the same spirit by getting their jab to help beat COVID-19.

Hundreds of vaccination centres, park pop-ups, pharmacies and football stadiums will be open again this weekend for Londoners to take their shot.

Sites include the Crystal Palace Football Stadium at Selhurst Park and many walk-in vaccination sites will be open until 8pm, so there’s plenty of time to get the jab and be home in time for kick-off. Details can be found at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/covid/where-can-you-get-vaccinated/vaccination-walk-in-clinics/

The COVID-19 vaccination programme in south west London has been highly successful so far, with more than 1.5 million jabs given. However, there are still thousands of people who have not yet taken up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Midwife Becky Board, who is leading the vaccination effort at Selhurst Park this weekend and is also associate director of operations for COVID-19 response and recovery at Croydon Hospital, said:

“Kick off your weekend the right way this Saturday, get your COVID-19 vaccination at Selhurst Park or any of the other sites that are open for you.

“Football fans in England want to see the team attack on Saturday and we want you to defend yourselves against COVID-19. Everyone has different priorities, whether it’s hugging your granny, watching sport in a packed stadium, going to a club or experiencing university – and getting vaccinated is the best way for us to get back to normal.”

With rates of COVID-19 increasing in the community, Londoners are also reminded to observe social distancing if they’re out watching the game this weekend – hands, face, space, fresh air.

Second doses will also be available this weekend, as long as it has been at least eight weeks since the first dose for people aged 40 and over and 12 weeks for people under 40. This offers the best protection against the serious effects of COVID-19.

Martin Machray, Joint Chief Nurse for the NHS in London, said:

“We’re calling on all those who haven’t been vaccinated to come forward to protect themselves and their families against this terrible virus, which is stopping us from doing the things that we love.

“Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic so get your jab to make sure that it’s football coming home this weekend – not coronavirus.”

Adults in London can find their nearest COVID-19 vaccination service online: www.england.nhs.uk/london/our-work/covid-19-vaccination-programme-2/covid-19-vaccine-sites-in-london/ To visit a walk-in clinic, you do not need to be registered with a GP, show proof of address or ID.

You can also call 119 or visit the national booking service to book an appointment at a local vaccination centre or pharmacy.

People aged 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with JCVI guidance.