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‘End of an era’: Staff cheer as the final vaccine is administered at P&J Live

212,000 vaccines, 150,000 people and 500 members of staff battling lengthy queues and horrific weathers – but 217 days later, the very last vaccine has been administered at the P&J Live.

There was mixed emotions on Sunday afternoon as vaccinators hung up their PPE for the final time when Callum Morrison, 25, received the final vaccine and was piped out of the venue.

What was one of Scotland’s largest mass vaccine centres will now move to the former John Lewis building, opening on September 13.

The new base, which will be known as Aberdeen City Vaccination Centre, will not only administer coronavirus vaccines, but flu jabs and other regular immunisations.

P&J Live Vaccine Centre. Picture by Paul Glendell.

P&J Live was was selected to vaccinate masses of the Aberdonian population early this year, operating since February 1.

But speaking today as the centre came to a close, Aberdeen City lead for the vaccination programme Sandy Reid says the move signals that “we don’t need somewhere of this size now – and that is an encouraging thing.”

Speaking of the “end of an era”, Mr Reid said: “Personally, every time I come here, I am really proud to see the team vaccinating people one at a time and thinking that they are helping to potentially save that person’s life.

Sandy Reid, Aberdeen City Covid-19 Vaccination lead. Picture by Paul Glendell.

One of those members of life-saving staff is Chloe England, who has come full circle since February 1, injecting both the the first ever and now final vaccine at the arena.

She said: “It is a really good feeling to know we can help society and get back to normal again, it has been very rewarding and very fulfilling.

“We have been here since February and we were here vaccinating until 10pm when the snow was horrendous, and the queues were really long.

“But we have got through it now and we have done a huge amount of people and we are very proud.”

And it has not all been plane sailing as the 28-year-old admits she was “very nervous” on issuing the first of thousands of vaccines in the venue back in February.

Chloe England who administered the very first vaccine at the centre when it opened, gave Callum Morrison the last vaccine at the centre. Picture by Paul Glendell.

“I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for to begin with, but we set this up and it has ran so smoothly for nine months.

“The very first one I was very nervous, I was still a bit nervous about the side effects so I was worried about what I was doing to this lady.

“But now after months and months of research and months of working here I know it is safe.

“It has shown to protect people especially on reflection of hospital numbers with vaccinated and unvaccinated people – there are more non-vaccinated people in hospital – so it is very good hearing that we are doing the right thing.”

There has also been a mixed response from those attending their appointments – as Ms England says some of her patients were unable to get into a booth fast enough, while others took a more cautious approach.

She said: “Some people were really excited to get it – some were running into the booth, lifting up their arm and wanting to get it at any cost.

Staff cheers as Mr Morrison was piped out of the venue. Picture by Paul Glendall.

“We had so many reports of people crying because they were relieved and they knew it opened up doors to going on holiday.

“But then we had other people who were a little unsure and just wanted to come and chat which was absolutely fine.

“After talking they realised how good it was and went ahead and got their vaccines.

“We also had so many people fainting through anxiety, so we do have little boothes around the corner.

“It has been a really good feeling and I feel like I have been part of history now.”

Chloe England who administered the last vaccine at P&J Live. Picture by Paul Glendall.

Coming to a close at 4pm, vaccinated Mr Morrison had both the pleasure of receiving the final vaccine from Ms England but was then also piped out of the arena by piper Chris Carter.

Emotional, members of staff followed behind and clapped to the sounds of Mr Carters pipes, cheering as Mr Morrison waved and exited the building.

He said: “I feel pretty special, I wasn’t expecting this on a Sunday afternoon.

“I was looking forward to getting the second vaccine. It makes you feel good. It will be a welcomed relief when this is all behind us.”

P&J Live returns to former event glory

And while Nick Waight, managing director from P&J Live, is grateful to have housed the life-saving initiative for so long – he is now looking forward to restoring the venue to its former event holding glory.

He said: “It is now time for us to get back to what we’re best at – hosting live entertainment and business events.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to our incredible venue when we reopen later this month.”