The Twickenham Stoop – home of Premiership rugby club Harlequins – opened today having been transformed into an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre.
The newly re-branded Chris Robshaw Bar (formerly the King’s Bar) is hosting vaccinations seven days a week for eligible residents alongside health and care staff.
It has been adapted to ensure the vaccine can be delivered safely and efficiently by NHS staff and volunteers while also allowing social distancing to be maintained.
Only people who have been invited can receive a Covid-19 jab – the centre is being operated by appointment only.
Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues building up.
Dr Patrick Gibson, lead GP for Richmond, said: “I’m incredibly proud of our teams for getting this vaccination centre up and running in such a short space of time and I would like to say a big thank you to Harlequins for making their rugby ground available and for giving the NHS such fantastic support.
“The coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective, and I would encourage anyone who is invited for a vaccination to take up the offer – the NHS will let you know when it is your turn so don’t contact the NHS for a jab before then.
“While local vaccination numbers are on the up, we know there is lots more to do to ensure as many people as possible are protected against this virus and please remember that regardless of whether you have had a jab or not, it is vital to continue following social distancing and government advice.”
Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said: “We are delighted to support the response to this global pandemic. The Club has worked closely with the NHS for many years and we are delighted to continue this to support our local community at such a challenging time. Harlequins is much more than a rugby club and we feel a responsibility to serve our community through our profile and utilising our facilities.”
The opening of the vaccination centre continues an outstanding history of collaboration between Harlequins and the NHS, with the club having hosted NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) blood plasma donations at the stadium throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to date and blood donations in years leading up to the pandemic.