Richard and Linda Poskitt have stayed at home throughout the pandemic to make sure they were “100% safe”.
The couple received their vaccinations on Tuesday morning in Wakefield at the first large-scale centre to open in West Yorkshire and said it was a “great day”.
Mr and Mrs Poskitt said they both have underlying health conditions and have been shielding during the outbreak as they knew it would be “extremely serious” if they caught Covid-19.
After receiving his vaccination, Mr Poskitt, aged 77, said: “We’ve been waiting for months really because my wife is clinically vulnerable and been shielding for a long time last summer and then shielding again now and it is a stress.
“In two or three weeks, or whatever, when we’ve got the protection, it will be a big weight off.”
He added: “Get it done. Because it’s a step forward to being safe, basically.
“The only way to be 100% safe was for us not to go out. We both knew that if we both got Covid, it would be extremely serious because we’ve both got underlying health problems.
“So it’s great, it’s a great day.”
Mrs Poskitt, aged 76, said: “I can go out in society. I’ve been at home the whole time, not gone through the front door.”
The centre, at Spectrum Community Health, on Navigation Walk, in Wakefield, is the first of West Yorkshire’s four centres to open, with further centres planned in Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds.
Dr Phil Wood, senior responsible officer for the West Yorkshire vaccination programme, said: “We are delighted to be able to open our first large vaccination centre.
“This will help us to vaccinate greater numbers of at risk people as quickly as possible.
“We are working hard to offer vaccinations to everyone in the first four priority groups as quickly as supplies allow and will contact everyone over the next few weeks to book their appointment.”
Jane Palmer, a nurse at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the vaccinators at the centre, said: “Covid-19 has affected us all, whether it’s what we’ve witnessed first-hand on the front line, or what we’ve been through in our own personal lives.
“I feel very privileged to be able to play a part in helping to protect our local community against this awful virus.”
Phil Deady, director of pharmacy and senior programme manager at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said the centre was working alongside the hospital hub, GP practices and community pharmacies and staff planned to vaccinate all of the high-priority cohorts in Wakefield across the sites by the middle of February.
Staff from The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Spectrum Community Health CIC are delivering the vaccinations at the centre.
Large vaccination centres are part of NHS plans to step up capacity and roll out the vaccine more widely.
They have been located in areas with good public transport links or parking facilities.
People in the nationally agreed priority groups who live 30 to 45 minutes drive from any of the large vaccination centres are receiving an invitation letter from the NHS national booking service.
This will explain how to book appointment at any of the centres that are open, including those at community pharmacies.
If people prefer, they can wait to receive an invitation from their GP practice for an appointment at their local centre or choose to wait for the other centres to open over the next few weeks.