Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium opened as a COVID-19 vaccine centre yesterday (Thursday), providing a timely boost to the Spanish capital’s efforts to control the virus.

The stadium is the first vaccine facility to open in Madrid that is not an established healthcare facility.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people were expected to receive a vaccine dose on Thursday and again today, before the capacity increases to approximately 3,000 people per day from tomorrow (Saturday).

Officials believe about 350 people per hour can receive a dose at the stadium.

Local police, firefighters and civil protection officers under the age of 55 will be the first people to be offered the vaccine at the stadium.

The doses are being administered in the stadium’s East VIP room.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the President of the Community of Madrid, said: “I congratulate Atlético Madrid for their generosity in giving us these magnificent facilities which, as everyone has seen, allows health professionals and citizens to come and get vaccinated… and then have the possibility of using rest areas once the vaccines have been provided.”

This month, Spain has recorded its highest number of deaths due to the pandemic since the beginning of the outbreak, but cases have begun to fall in recent days.

About two million Spaniards have received at least one vaccine dose and the government expects to have at least two-thirds of the population vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Image credit: Zarateman – CC 1.0