Salisbury Cathedral is turned into a mass coronavirus vaccination hub

Queues in the pews: Salisbury Cathedral is turned into a mass coronavirus vaccination hub as jab drive continues amid concern at slowdown in rollout

  • NHS staff worked with church workers and volunteers to help the elderly get the jab at the 800-year-old site
  • Pictures today showed rows of mask-wearing visitors sitting in the atrium in front of a huge Christmas tree
  • The venue opened its doors to the health service Saturday, where it helped administer doses for the over 80s
  • The Wiltshire cathedral is a site for the Sarum South Primary Care Network Covid-19 local vaccination service

Vaccinations are continuing to be dished out at Salisbury Cathedral today as religious landmarks join the battle against the coronavirus.

NHS staff worked with church workers and volunteers to help the elderly receive their jab in the 800-year-old place of worship in Wiltshire.

Pictures today showed rows of mask-wearing visitors sitting in the atrium in front of a huge Christmas tree before seeing a nurse and getting the cure.

The historic venue first opened its doors to the health service on Saturday, where it helped administer doses for the over 80s getting the vaccine.

It has become a site for the Sarum South Primary Care Network Covid-19 local vaccination service and local GPs have invited patients in the first priority group to get immunised there.

A programme of music on the cathedral’s famous Father Willis organ is being provided throughout the day by David Halls, director of music, and John Challenger, assistant director of music.

Vaccinations are continuing to be dished out at Salisbury Cathedral today as religious landmarks join the battle against the coronavirus

NHS staff worked with church workers and volunteers to help the elderly receive their jab in the 800-year-old place of worship in Wiltshire

Staff give the Pfizer Covid vaccine to a patient at the vaccination centre set up inside Salisbury Cathedral on Wednesday morning

Pictures today showed rows of mask-wearing visitors sitting in the atrium in front of a huge Christmas tree before seeing a nurse and getting the cure

The historic venue first opened its doors to the health service on Saturday, where it helped administer doses for the over 80s getting the vaccine

Dr Dan Henderson, co-clinical director for the Sarum South Primary Care Network, said: ‘It’s great to be further expanding the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wiltshire.

‘Today marks another step towards getting our lives back to normal.

‘I understand that people are keen to get their jabs but please don’t call your doctor or the hospital asking about when you will get an appointment, we are following the priority order set out by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

‘The huge vaccine programme is a marathon, not a sprint, but we will get to everyone.’

Patients attending appointments are from five GP practices – Salisbury Medical Practice, Harcourt Medical Centre, Three Chequers Medical Practice, Downton Surgery and Whiteparish Surgery.

It has become a site for the Sarum South Primary Care Network Covid-19 local vaccination service and local GPs have invited patients in the first priority group to get immunised there

A programme of music on the cathedral’s famous Father Willis organ is being provided throughout the day by David Halls, director of music, and John Challenger, assistant director of music

Dr Dan Henderson, co-clinical director for the Sarum South Primary Care Network, said: ‘It’s great to be further expanding the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wiltshire’

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos (pictured), Dean of Salisbury, said: ‘We are proud to be playing our part in the life-saving vaccination programme, which offers real hope in these difficult times’

Patients attending appointments are from five GP practices – Salisbury Medical Practice, Harcourt Medical Centre, Three Chequers Medical Practice, Downton Surgery and Whiteparish Surgery

Only patients invited by the NHS should attend and are asked to only arrive five minutes before their appointment time.

Patients not invited should wait to be contacted by the NHS.

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: ‘We are proud to be playing our part in the life-saving vaccination programme, which offers real hope in these difficult times.

‘The staff of our local NHS and their patients will receive a warm welcome to their cathedral, and we assure them of our constant prayer.’

A mass vaccination centre was also opened in the historic nave of Lichfield Cathedral last week in a boost for the Government’s pledge to protect all older and clinically vulnerable people by the spring.

Only patients invited by the NHS should attend and are asked to only arrive five minutes before their appointment time

A member of the vaccinating team displays a number, indicating an empty booth, as members of the public receive a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at Salisbury Cathedral

Health workers prepare the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine inside Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, on Wednesday morning

Elderly people leave temporary vaccination booths after receiving a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at Salisbury Cathedral today

People wait in line to receive the coronavirus disease vaccine at a vaccination centre inside Salisbury Cathedral on Wednesday

Eligible patients registered to surgeries in the Staffordshire town have begun receiving invitations to the 14th-century gothic building after it offered its spacious 70ft wide interior as a hub for local surgeries.

The Very Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said the cathedral had been keen to help out with the vaccine roll-out which he hailed as the ‘best news’ of the year.

He said: ‘Lichfield Cathedral has a long history, dating back to its medieval beginnings, of being a space of welcome and healing for the community.

‘We pray every day for our nation and community, especially for healing the sick and protecting the vulnerable. It’s only right we offer the cathedral as a practical means for those prayers to be answered.’

The hub is being run by Lichfield Primary Care Network and comes after some people aged 80 and above complained that the initial seven mass vaccination centres which opened their doors on Monday around England were too far for them to travel to.

A mass vaccination centre was also opened in the historic nave of Lichfield Cathedral last week in a boost for the Government’s pledge to protect all older and clinically vulnerable people by the spring. Pictured: Salisbury today

Eligible patients registered to surgeries in the Staffordshire town have begun receiving invitations to the 14th-century gothic building after it offered its spacious 70ft wide interior as a hub for local surgeries. Pictured: Salisbury Cathedral today

Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire is also gearing up to start hosting a vaccine centre in its crypt and undercroft with the objective of giving up to 1,700 jabs a week. Pictured: Salisbury today

The Church of England is lending a hand at a time when socially distanced communal worship is among the very few legal exemptions under which groups of people can gather. Pictured: Salisbury today

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the coronavirus vaccine as an ‘answer to prayer’ as he got his jab over the weekend. Pictured: Salisbury today

A spokesman for the network said: ‘It seems very apt to use the cathedral because it is such a central focus of community life in Lichfield and we are delighted to be offering this service to our shared community.’

Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire is also gearing up to start hosting a vaccine centre in its crypt and undercroft with the objective of giving up to 1,700 jabs a week.

The Church of England is lending a hand at a time when socially distanced communal worship is among the very few legal exemptions under which groups of people can gather.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the coronavirus vaccine as an ‘answer to prayer’ as he got his jab over the weekend.

The 65-year-old received the vaccine because he is a volunteer chaplain at Guys and St Thomas’s hospitals, in London.

Sharing a photo of himself receiving the injection on social media, the leader of the Church of England urged others to follow suit when given the opportunity to do so.

He wrote: ‘The rapid development of the vaccine is an answer to prayer – and it is central to the recovery from this terrible pandemic.

‘Jesus Christ calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Getting the vaccine is part of that commandment: we can show our love for each other by keeping each other safe from this terrible disease.’

He follows other spiritual leaders including Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict in being vaccinated.

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