Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed today that four large vaccination centres were being set up across West Yorkshire.
As well as hubs at Jacob’s Well in Bradford, The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield and Elland Road Stadium in Leeds, a large scale vaccination centre will open at Spectrum Community Healthcare CIC on Navigation Walk, close to Wakefield city centre.
It is part of an effort to ensure that more care home residents and vulnerable people in West Yorkshire will be offered the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
Speaking earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "battle preparation techniques" would be used to distribute the vaccine.
The vaccine, which was approved for use in the UK last week, is generally considered more practical than the Pfizer vaccine, as it does not need to be stored at such low temperatures.
Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and lead for the West Yorkshire Covid-19 Vaccination Programme said:
“It is great news that we will be able to protect more vulnerable people. We are working with partners across West Yorkshire to make sure people can get their first vaccination as quickly and easily as possible and are ready to expand the rollout as fast as supplies become available.
“GPs, nurses, pharmacists and countless other staff, partners and volunteers are working around the clock to provide vaccinations.
"We know people are eager get protected and may be concerned if they are in one of the priority cohorts and have not been contacted yet. However, we would like to reassure them that they will be contacted over the next few weeks.
“Services are extremely busy at the moment and we would ask people to help the NHS at this very difficult time by not contacting their local GP or other NHS services about getting a vaccination.
"People will not be able to book an appointment until they have been invited to do so, so please be patient and we will contact you as soon as it is your turn.”
As well as the four large centres, local GPs across West Yorkshire are working together to create a series of care networks to support the vaccine rollout.
In line with national recommendations, GPs will offer the vaccine to over-80s and care home residents first, before moving on to other age groups in descending order.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals, also began offering vaccinations to staff earlier this week.
All vaccine services are appointment only and people will be invited to make their appointment through a national booking system, which will allow them to choose a convenient location.