Faced with the siege of the Delta variant, London vaccinates even in football stadiums / Technology Headlines

A long queue snakes in front of the Arsenal stadium, but no one came to see the famous football team from London. The space was transformed into a large vaccination center, as part of the British government’s efforts to deal with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“I wanted to have the vaccine for a long time, it is important for young people because we move a lot,” says Oceane Danezan, a 20-year-old French student, describing the moment as “exciting.”

To attract as many young people as possible to this center, it is not necessary to make an appointment, or ask about the immigration status of those who come to get vaccinated.

The strawberry for dessert is a free visit to the stadium, where the football matches of Euro 2020 are also screened.

The aim of the authorities of the London Borough of Islington and the British Public Health Service is to administer about 10,000 first doses in four days of the vaccine developed by Pfizer / BioNTech.

A line in front of the Arsenal stadium in London to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Photo: AFP

After having seen the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths drastically decrease thanks to a third and strict confinement during the winter and a massive vaccination campaign, the UK has faced a severe resurgence of the virus for weeks.

Experts attribute it to the Delta variant, originally identified in India and much more contagious.

With 95% of new cases, this strain has already established itself as dominant in the country, one of the most affected in Europe by the pandemic, which left more than 128,000 dead.

On Friday, almost 16,000 positive cases were registered in 24 hours.

Mass vaccination

Faced with this situation, and given that vaccines are considered very effective in preventing serious forms of covid-19, the government of Boris Johnson he considers having offered at least one dose for all adults and fully immunized two-thirds of them before July 19 to lift the last restrictions still in force.

Those who get vaccinated at the Arsenal stadium have access to a free visit. Photo. AP

It is a ‘moral duty’ for 53-year-old Josephine Marino to get vaccinated, but admits that she waited until now to receive the Pfizer vaccine instead of AstraZeneca’s, which is widely available for her age group in the UK, but that was the subject of several controversies, mainly the appearance in a small and unusual number of cases of thrombi.

Marino works with vulnerable people and plans to go to Italy soon to visit his family.

“It’s good to make these short-lived vaccination centers reach a wider audience,” he says, considering that some people are “scared.”

Fear of getting vaccinated

The Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal, is not the first major British sports facility to participate in this mass vaccination effort, which has already administered a first dose to 83% of adults and the full regimen to more than 60%.

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Graphic: To flourish | Infographic: Clarion

The Twickenham Rugby Stadium and Tottenham’s local rival Arsenal’s Hotspur Stadium have also served as mass vaccination centers, as have museums, cathedrals and mosques.

But the new increase in cases, mainly affecting younger and unvaccinated peopleIt also involves reaching those who have not had access to doses or are reluctant to inject, who in the UK are especially found among ethnic minorities.

“I work with people in the commercial sector where there is a lot of skepticism, but I try to be rational. There are many benefits and minimal risks ”to being immunized, says Sofia Mohamed, a 26-year-old student.

To come, another student, Conor Reynolds, also 26, had to overcome opposition from family and friends, as well as his own fears.

“I was paranoid, it was difficult,” he admits. “But (…) I changed my mind: I just want to be able to see my sister again,” he explains.

Source: AFP

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