The International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, is believed to be the first science centre in the world to be used as a COVID-19 large vaccination centre.
The NHS-operated vaccination centre, which was officially opened yesterday [11 January], is occupying Life's conferencing suites, sitting alongside the popular visitor attraction.
To help with the largest vaccination programme in history, up to 1,000 people from across the North East of England and North Cumbria will be vaccinated every day at Life, seven days a week.
Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of Life, said: "Life is proud to have a large vaccination centre onsite. Life's mission is to inspire everyone in North East England to explore and enjoy science and to discover its relevance to their own lives – what’s more pertinent and relevant than a life-saving vaccine?"
Life has a long history of partnering with the NHS and is already home to two permanent NHS clinics offering treatment for fertility issues and genetic diseases.
When Life first opened, many people were nervous about genetic medicine and the concept of IVF babies. Life is proud to have been a pioneer in both fields.
It is home to the research team that created the world’s first cloned human embryo; the first fertility clinic in the world licensed to treat patients using mitochondrial replacement therapy, which was also researched and developed onsite; and a pioneering stem cell treatment that has restored the sight of many people.
Professor Sir John Burn, Chair of The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and one of the people involved originally in the development of the International Centre for Life, said: "I am delighted that Life is really living up to its name! Science has never been so important as we face this huge global challenge."
Appointments for vaccination will be allocated by the NHS – please do not contact Life directly.
About appointments at the large vaccination centre
Life is delighted to be the venue for an NHS large vaccination centre, but the operation of the centre, including appointments and queueing, is solely the responsibility of the NHS. Sorry, but Life will not respond to any queries relating to the NHS vaccination programme.
The NHS has issued the following information:
- Only people who are invited to have a vaccine can book an appointment.
- For more information go to this NHS website.
Parking is available in nearby Times Square Car Park. Limited spaces are available on site on a first-come, first-served basis – sorry, but we are unable to reserve spaces.