Jabs have been made available to festival-goers at both Reading and Leeds this weekend as part of the NHS’ ongoing vaccination programme, with a particular focus on vaccinating 16 and 17-year-olds in England.
In addition to pop-up clinics, a “vaccine bus” is also on site at Reading along with the promise that festival-goers will be able “to pick up a jab as easily as a beer or a burger”.
It’s not just punters who have been using the service, artists have been too. McKenna took the opportunity to get his second jab as soon as he finished his set on the Radio 1 Stage, which included a surprise performance from Sam Fender.
Speaking to Leeds TV, McKenna revealed that he was supposed to have received his second jab earlier this month, but because he had previously tested positive for COVID within 28 days of the appointment he was unable to get vaccinated.
With pop-up clinics easily accessible at Leeds, McKenna said he “seized the opportunity” to get vaccinated. “I’ve got two days off so I thought yeah, get it done now,” he explained.
“Being nomadic in some description you just wanna seize the opportunity when it arises,” he continued. Speaking on the clinics being at the festival, McKenna said: “It’s a nice reminder, especially as a young person you lose track of these things.
This afternoon (August 29), McKenna gave fans an update on how he’s feeling since having the vaccine. “I feel fine today,” he said in a tweet.
He added that his arm is hurting but it isn’t because of the jab, instead it’s Sam Fender‘s fault. “I’m sure my arm would hurt less if sam would’ve refrained from punching it.”
and I feel fine today, although I’m sure my arm would hurt less if sam would’ve refrained from punching it https://t.co/lvAjkNkm12
— Declan mckenna (@DeclanMcKenna) August 29, 2021
Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and deputy lead for NHS England’s vaccination programme, said: “Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff and volunteers, more than half a million young people aged 16 and 17 have had their first dose as teams across the country have worked tirelessly to get their communities protected, vaccinating at convenient pop-up clinics in the park, at places of worship and stadiums, and now at Reading and Leeds.
“It is great to see the return of live music and performances, and as festival-goers head to the main stage this weekend to see their favourite headliners, I am also urging anyone who hasn’t to add the ‘vaccine tent’ to their festival itinerary to get that lifesaving vaccine as the best protection we can get from coronavirus.”
Festival-goers were also offered the vaccine on-site at Latitude 2021, which was one of the first festivals to be held at full capacity after COVID restrictions were lifted.
Check back at NME all weekend for more reviews, news, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2021.