Ashton Gate in Bristol to be one of seven 'super vaccination' centres in the UK
Take a look inside Ashton Gate as a vaccination hub
Ashton Gate will be the location of one of seven new 'super vaccination' centres in the UK.
Number 10 said across the country, the chosen conference and sports centres will be staffed by a mixture of NHS staff and volunteers.
The Bristol stadium will be in addition to GP surgeries and hospitals in the city and the South West region, which will also be co-ordinating their own vaccination programmes.
The vaccination centre has taken over the south concourse of the stadium with self-contained appointment rooms and is due to start operating next week.
Managing Director of Ashton Gate Mark Kelly said they have enabled a safe space for the delivery of vaccine but will also facilitate match days when fans can return.
“The vaccination centre has taken over the South Concourse of the Stadium and it isa self-contained space with plenty of room for social distancing, enabling a safe andefficient delivery of the vaccine, including one-way systems," Mr Kelly said.
“Match days will continue as they have been throughout the pandemic, and whenfans are able to return to stadia, we will be able to accommodate that alongside thevaccination programme.”
Bristol's Director of Public health Christina Gray said this site is by invitation only and is reminding people to not turn up unless they have been contacted.
She said: "It will not be open to members of the public but primarily to health and social care staff."
During a briefing on Wednesday 6 January, Christina Gray also said it's essential the region's hospitals are able to function in order to help with the roll-out of the vaccine.
It comes as Bristol's infection rate continues to rise.
On Tuesday 5 January the infection rate was 341 per 100,000 which averages around 220 new positive cases per day.
The South West is still below the national average, but Bristol's Director of Public Health Christina Gray says rates are 'concerningly high'.
There are currently around 300 patients in beds in the three hospital sites being treated for coronavirus - around 10 per cent of those are in intensive care.
The good news is there are fewer admissions to intensive care than in the first wave.
Christina Gray attributes this to people spotting symptoms earlier and getting treatment sooner.
When asked how concerned she is about what is happening at the moment, Christina Gray said: "This is probably the most critical point we have been at.
"This is grim, this is really grim and everyone has found this very difficult.
"The new variant we don't have any evidence if it's more lethal but because of its greater infectivity, it will infect more people, therefore more people will become seriously ill, and more people will die.
"We have to get this vaccine out. The next few weeks and months are absolutely critical."
During the briefing, Bristol's Mayor Marvin Rees announced that Bristol is expected to receive £30.5million of the wider £4.6billion announced to help businesses survive the six-week lockdown.
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The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals in the South West