First large vaccination centre to open at Riverside Stadium

ANOTHER large vaccine centre is set to open in the region this month.

The centre at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough will be the first in Teesside.

Teesside MPs have confirmed it will open in mid-March. 

Responding to the news, Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “The vaccine rollout in the North-East so far has been a tremendous success.

“But with the nearest operating mass vaccination centre being in Sunderland until the opening of the new centre in Darlington yesterday, myself and Mr Young joined Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, and other Conservative MPs locally on a call with Nadhim last weekend to make the case for a centre based in Teesside.

“I’m delighted that our case was heeded by the vaccine minister and I would like to thank Mr Zahawi for improving the already exemplary vaccine rollout operation that continues at pace across Teesside.”

Large vaccination centres are already running at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, Sunderland, the Arnison Centre in Durham and at Darlington Arena. 

There have been repeated calls for a centre in Teesside to speed up the roll out of the vaccine. 

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald said it was “wonderful” news and said he would continue to press for pop-up facilities, to ensure everyone can access a jab locally. 

He said: “The news that the Riverside Stadium will be the venue for Middlesbrough’s mass vaccination centre is wonderful news. 

“I have been calling for Middlesbrough to have such a facility in order for more people to be able to have access to a vaccine site locally. 

“This will help support GPS across the town, particularly as supplies increase and more people receive their second jab. 

“To see the mass vaccination start operating this month at the Riverside is a really positive step and can only help in our efforts to beat this dreadful virus. I will continue to press for local, pop up vaccination sites at the heart of our communities to ensure those who do not have access to a car, can receive a vaccine locally.” 

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: “This is fantastic news and what we’ve been calling for for weeks now. A Mass Vaccine Centre in Teesside, for Teesside – and what better place than the home of the Boro.

“As we approach the time when we must start to roll out the second dose of the vaccine and move down the ages of those eligible, this will mean people won’t have to travel as far and can be vaccinated locally.

“In Redcar and Cleveland alone we’ve vaccinated more than 40,000 people so far. This mass vaccine site will be another string in our bow to beat this virus and get us all back to normal.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: “It seems like mass vaccination centres are a bit like buses, you wait around for one and two come at once! 

“Having fought for the mass vaccine centre in Darlington, it’s fantastic to see a second opening at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. 

“A fantastic location that will make it easier and more convenient for people to access the Covid vaccination. So many people have contacted me requesting this be put in place and I’m delighted to see the Government have listened to our demands.”

The Northern Echo | Teesside