SAINTS’ Totally Wicked Stadium will be used as a central base to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations if and when they are rolled out, it has been confirmed.

The government has asked the NHS to make the necessary preparations to enable it to start offering vaccinations as early as December.

St Helens CCG’s deputy chief finance officer Julie Ashurst was invited to St Helens Borough Council’s adult social care and health scrutiny committee, where she updated councillors on the current preparations.

Ms Ashurst said the CCG was planning a vaccination programme “over the coming weeks and months” and is adopting a “borough-based approach”.

She revealed Saint’s Totally Wicked Stadium – which has recently hosted mass flu vaccination clinics – has been identified as a site for Covid vaccinations.

“That borough-based approach will be split into three strands,” Ms Ashurst said.

“We’ll be looking to vaccinate care homes, actually going out to the care homes, identifying those who are housebound and going out to them, and those then that can travel we will have a mass primary care site at Saints’ rugby ground in the centre of the borough

“We’re unable to have the vaccination at local GP practices and that’s because of the national nature of rolling out the vaccines that are available.

“It has to be at a central site to get through the numbers of people that we need to get through.

“We’re in the middle of planning for that now and obviously as our plans are developed more we will let people know.

“They will be called as and when the national priority for their age group or clinical condition comes along.”

St Helens Star:

Flu jabs took place at Saints earlier this year

Rainford Conservative councillor Linda Mussell asked whether those who are housebound due to shielding from Covid will be able to get vaccinated.

Cllr Mussell, a retired district nurse, also revealed that she has been asked by the NHS to assist with the planned rollout.

In response, Ms Ashurst said every general practice in the borough is currently working to identify all patients who are housebound.

She said there will be a borough-wide list of people who are housebound and when the vaccine is ready, GPs will be deployed to the community to administer them in people’s homes.

The majority of people will need to travel to Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium, which recently run a series of mass flu vaccination clinics.

The mass clinics proved a hit with patients, and has set a precedent for doing the Covid vaccinations in this way.

This involved more than half of all GP practices in St Helens, with all general practices to be involved in the Covid vaccination programme.

Margaret Baxter from Haydock recently got her flu jab at the stadium along with her husband, Frank, after making an appointment with their practice.

Margaret said: “The appointment system and care was really efficient, and we were really were impressed with how it worked.

“We think it should be the way forward for all future vaccination programmes.”