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Concert halls, stadia and convention centres are stepping up to help with Covid-19 vaccination programmes in Europe and North America
By IQ on 18 Dec 2020
Further music, entertainment and sports venues in Europe and North America are gearing up to become mass inoculation centres, as the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine continues its roll-out in the UK, with more countries set to follow suit, and other competing vaccines near approval.
IQ reported earlier this month that venues in the UK and Germany, as well as members of Belgian festival association FFMWB, had offered up their facilities as vaccination centres amid the ongoing British vaccination programme and ahead of European Medicines Agency approval for the 27 EU countries.
In Germany, joining the previously announced Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf is Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, a historic concert hall (2,100-cap.) and convention centre which will reopen in the new year following a recent renovation with the capacity to immunise 2,500 people a day.
According to German news agency DPA, there are now more than 440 vaccination centres set up across Germany, with locations including converted exhibition centres, sports halls and hotels.
Historic concert hall Liederhalle will have a vaccination capacity of 2,500 a day
DPA reports that German health minister Jens Spahn is relying on EU approval of the first vaccine “shortly before Christmas”, with the first vaccinations then beginning within two to four days. It is being left to Germany’s federal Lands to deliver the national vaccination programme, though the federal government expects immunisation centres are expected to be at full capacity by mid-January.
In Luxembourg, which is similarly waiting on EU approval to begin its vaccination programme, the 2,300-capacity Halle Victor-Hugo in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg City, has been announced as the country’s first vaccination centre, serving the Luxembourgish capital.
Luxembourg has signed contracts with six vaccine manufacturers (AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac) for 1.3 million doses of vaccine, with which it will be possible to immunise 800,000 people (nearly 150,000 more than there are Luxembourgers) against Covid-19, according to Les Frontaliers.
Canada, along with neighbouring America and Mexico, has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and began inoculating its earlier this week.
The first vaccinations were given in Quebec on Monday, at a conference centre
The first vaccinations were given in Quebec on Monday, with a conference centre in the city of Sherbrooke, Center de foires de Sherbrooke, chosen as one of the sites, given its history of providing vaccinations against seasonal flu. The 60,000sqft venue was, therefore, “ideal as a place for the delivery and administration of the first doses of the vaccine”, reports local daily La Tribune.
The UK, meanwhile, continues to add new venues to its national vaccination programme, which has given more than 137,000 people their first Covid-19 jab (of two) so far.
Hull’s 25,000-seat KCom Stadium is the latest major sporting venue to be transformed into a mass vaccination facility, with people from “priority” groups (the over-80s and National Health Service workers) receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from Tuesday (15 December).
James Crick, associate medical director for Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, tells the Hull Daily Mail, that, thanks to “location vaccination sites” like KCom Stadium, more vulnerable people identified as priority cohorts will be able to receive the vaccine. […] In the meantime, I urge everybody to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS services while we carry out this vital work.”
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