28 April 2021
Gold-medal winners Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill are just some of the athletes to have warmed up on the famous Olympic Bar running track at StoneX Stadium, home to the Saracens Rugby Club.
Now it has been transformed into a large scale vaccination centre, run by the Royal Free London, to vaccinate thousands of people in the fight against COVID-19.
Originally part of the Olympic Stadium, the track was transported to StoneX after the London 2012 Olympics, where it is used by local people as an indoor athletics training centre and events space.
The vaccination centre, opening on Wednesday 28 April, will be capable of delivering thousands of the life-saving jabs each week and offers another alternative to the GP and pharmacy-led services that are already set up in the area.
Caroline Clarke, Royal Free London group chief executive, said: “We are delighted to partner with StoneX Stadium to deliver this vaccination centre. This is an important step in the battle against COVID-19 and protecting as many people as possible from the virus.
“I would like to thank all Royal Free London staff and our partners who have helped set up this centre and everyone who will be working at and supporting the centre over the coming months.”
Saracens chief executive officer Lucy Wray said: “As well as being the home of Saracens rugby, Middlesex University and Barnet athletics, StoneX Stadium has become an important and vibrant multi-use venue so we are really pleased and excited that it has now become a significant COVID-19 vaccination site for the residents of Barnet and north London.
“Along with our group of partners, such as City Index by StoneX, we will ensure that the NHS staff and volunteers operating at the stadium are well cared for and we would encourage all local residents to accept their invitation to have the vaccine at StoneX Stadium.”
Letters and text messages are being sent to people in the priority groups as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and people eligible for the vaccine can book an appointment online at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.
People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to get the vaccine and should not seek a vaccine before then.
People who have an appointment at the StoneX vaccination centre will be greeted by volunteers who will be marshalling the car park and register them when they arrive. Bookings are staggered to allow for social distancing.
Image: Ozgur Ozdemir, here with vaccinator Deenesh Dabydoyal, is one of the first people to be given a COVID-19 jab at the new StoneX vaccination centre.