The UK vaccine rollout is well underway with over 3 million jabs administered. After also being one of the first western countries to authorise the Pfizer jab for emergency use, it’s safe to say there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. However, after a further national lockdown the nightlife sector has taken another massive hit, with many venues and brands close to disappearing for good.
In a bid to upscale the vaccination process, club and festival owners are offering their services to help speed up the rollout, with the hope of salvaging the rest of 2021’s music calendar. John Giddings; organiser of Isle of Wight Festival has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to accept their help via twitter.
After speaking with NME, Giddings further detailed his plan that venues such as clubs and large scale arenas could be used to endorse a 24 hour vaccine programme, with teams of staff who specialise in logistics and other transferable skills which can support with the rollout. Not only would this benefit the NHS, it would also get many people back into work, albeit in a different capacity.
However, there are still things to consider before a venue can be deemed fit for administering vaccines. The Pfizer and BioNTech jabs require storage at a temperature of -70°C in special transport containers that last ten days. After its thawed, the vaccine can survive a further five days at 2-8°C but cannot be used after this time.
The more suitable option would be Oxford/AstraZeneca‘s vaccine, which can be stored at 2-8°C making it far more viable to store and administer in a club/arena setting. Of course, you’d also need trained healthcare professionals to actually administer the vaccines.
Further comments have been made from Jeremy Joseph, who responded to the tweet highlighting venues G-A-Y and Heaven as being potential sites to Westminster City Council. Both of these clubs have previously been used by the NHS for HIV testing over the last decade.
When asked whether he’d be taking his offer to higher powers in government, John Giddings replied :
“I’ve already had a call. I can’t go into details. Getting a call and something happening are two different things, but I’ve had interest already”.
Fingers crossed something materialises.
Words: Neil Ritchie
Editor : Ben Lovejoy
Cover Image : Isle Of Wight Festival