Reading & Leeds Festival to offer COVID vaccinations on-site

Music fans will be able "to pick up a jab as easily as a beer or a burger"

Reading & Leeds Festival will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations at both festival sites this weekend (August 27-29).

Jabs will be offered to festivalgoers as part of the NHS’ ongoing vaccination programme, with a particular focus now on vaccinating 16 and 17-year-olds in England.

Pop-up vaccination clinics will be operating at both Reading and Leeds this weekend, while a “vaccine bus” is set to be in attendance at Reading along with the promise that festivalgoers will be able “to pick up a jab as easily as a beer or a burger”.

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COVID vaccinations will be offered at Reading from 9:30am-5pm from today (August 26) through to Sunday (August 29), and from 9am-1pm on Monday (August 30).

At Leeds, jabs will be available between 10am and 4pm from today through to Sunday, and from 8am-11am on Monday.

Reading & Leeds
The crowd at Reading festival (Picture: Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)

Health professionals will also be on hand to offer advice and answer any questions that people may have, though anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be given the vaccine.

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.”

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Festivalgoers 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.

Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil spoke to NME this week ahead of the band’s upcoming headline slot at Reading & Leeds, and said that this year’s festivals will “be celebrating so much more than a weekend of music”.

“We’ll all be together at last. It’s more important than any Reading & Leeds before,” he said. “This time last year I just couldn’t envisage more than 20 people standing together ever again as I’m a bit of a cynic. It’s going to be pure joy.”

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