By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter
The Twickenham Stoop stadium is set to become a coronavirus vaccine centre from next month.
The Harlequins rugby team announced on Friday that their newly re-branded Chris Robshaw Bar will host vaccinations seven-days-a-week outside of match days.
The centre is set to open at the beginning of February, but no more details have yet been released.
This is not the first time the club has worked with the NHS.
Last summer the club also hosted a pop-up blood plasma donation centre at the stadium to encourage people who had recovered from coronavirus to donate their blood plasma, which can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.
However, the club and the NHS are keen to stress that people should not call the NHS or vaccine sites to get an appointment.
When it is the right time, people will receive an invitation to come forward for a vaccine – for most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS.
Harlequins chief executive Laurie Dalrymple said the club was “delighted” to be able to support the local community.
“Harlequins is much more than a rugby club and we feel a responsibility to serve our community through our profile and utilising our facilities,” he said.
Dr Nicola Jones, local GP and GP lead for the roll-out of the vaccine in South-west London, said: “Our teams have done an amazing job working quickly to get ready to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccinations, and we are immensely grateful for the support of organisations like Harlequins who are offering their time and facilities to help the NHS.
“The coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective, and will offer people a vital defence against the virus, but we can’t be complacent, it is still so important that people continue to follow government guidance and keep their distance.
“The NHS will invite eligible people for the vaccine at a set time to ensure those most at risk are prioritised, it is important not to contact your GP for a vaccination before then.”
Pictured top: The Stoop
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