Live to play key role in Covid-19 vaccinations
Venues and festivals across Europe have offered their services as vaccination centres as the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine nears roll-out.
The vaccine is now approved in the UK, with the first vaccinations starting next week, and the EU and US are expected follow suit in the coming weeks. According to its makers, the vaccine is more than 90% effective against Covid-19.
In Germany, Dusseldorf venue company D.Live is establishing a vaccination centre in sports and entertainment venue Merkur Spiel-Arena, the 66,500-capacity stadium which serves as the ground of football team Fortuna Düsseldorf.
The centre, which will serve Dusseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, will stretch over 8,000m² across two storeys and have the capacity for up to 2,400 immunisations a day, with the potential to expand if necessary.
Patients arriving at the stadium will first visit one of 12 check-in counters, before making their way through a one-way system to a waiting area, and then on to one of the ten boxes which are being converted into vaccination rooms.
Local guidelines dictate that the vaccine be made available gradually to the entire population on a voluntary basis, starting with vulnerable groups, including hospital staff and patients and carers in care homes.
Covid-19 vaccinations could start in the 27 EU nations before the end of December
Authorities in the UK are similarly requisitioning stadia and other event venues, with the 27,000-seat Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, the Etihad Stadium campus in Manchester, Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey and among the sites identified for mass vaccinations in England.
The Bristol facility reportedly has the capacity to deliver up to 110,000 vaccinations a week to residents of the city and the surrounding areas, starting next week and continuing until April 2021.
In Belgium, meanwhile, newly formed Wallonian festival association FFMWB (Fédération des Festivals de Musique Wallonie-Bruxelles) is offering up its members’ sites and services to help the Belgian government achieve its goal of eight million vaccinations (around 70% of the country) when the vaccine is approved there.
“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus,” says Dour Festival’s Damien Dufrasne, president of the FFMWB.
FFMWB’s 11 members include Les Francofolies de Spa, Les Nuits Botanique and Brussels Summer Festival.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said last week that said Covid-19 vaccinations could start in the 27 EU nations before the end of December. The EC has agreements with six suppliers that would allow it to purchase more than 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.