People turned away from Covid vaccination centre at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre after huge queue forms

People have been turned away from a pop-up Covid vaccination centre at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre after a huge queue formed this morning.

By Robert Cumber
Saturday, 12th June 2021, 1:43 pm

Health bosses this morning asked anyone who had been planning to attend the walk-in clinic not to attend after it quickly reached capacity.

People have reported arriving within minutes of the 9am opening time and being told there was no more availability due to demand, despite the centre running until 2pm today, Saturday, June 12.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is running the centre, tweeted at 8.56am today: “Amazing to see so many people at the Crucible Theatre for our drop-in Covid vaccination clinic. If you were planning on coming do not as we have reached our limit.

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The queue for the walk-in Covid vaccination centre at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre (pic: NHS Sheffield CCG)

One person said there were more than 1,500 young people in the queue, while another branded the situation an ‘absolute farce’.

Dean Thompson, a 21-year-old law student, was among those who missed out, despite arriving at around 8.45am.

He said: “I expected to queue but with the centre being open until 2pm I thought I would get my jab.

"When I got there the queue went down towards the train station before snaking around the hotel.

"There was a good intention behind the centre, wanting to push the vaccines with the Delta variant spreading so quickly, but it was really badly executed.

"It might have done more harm than good because there was no social distancing in the queue, though people were wearing masks.”

For those who missed out, the Sheffield Octagon Centre is due to offer a walk-in vaccination service from Monday, June 14, which will be open seven days a week, from 8am-5pm, and will operate on a first come, first served ticketed basis. The centre will be delivering around 800 vaccinations each day.

A spokesperson for Sheffield CCG said: “It’s great to have had such a good response. We had 700 vaccines on offer on a ‘first come basis’ and very quickly had takers for them all.

“Appointments are still available at Sheffield Arena and The Octagon for those aged 25 and over, which can be made via the national booking service.”