Waugh Thistleton Architects

Offsite mobile vaccination solution 1
Offsite mobile vaccination solution 2

The Covid-19 crisis has seen a surge in the implementation of modular off-site solutions for new hospitals - these have helped the current situation, but what about the next stage? With the promise of a vaccine, how does the UK immunise 66m people as quickly as possible?

Our hospitals and GPs were already over capacity before the crisis, and it could take years for the NHS return to normal. The government has mobilised the army to assist with testing, but shouldn't a modern, competent economy only rely on its armed forces for civil emergencies? The mass vaccination of all UK citizens is an anticipated event that the government and the NHS should be planning for now.

We cannot use our schools and sports centres as vaccination centres as these will soon be needed to regain some semblance of normal life; and the logistics of disinfecting these spaces and preventing the spread of disease during the process would be complicated and potentially detract from the critical task at hand.

With this in mind we started to sketch out a mobile vaccine centre. One that could be both installed and transported in a very short space of time. During this process, we sought advice from experts: a Consultant Immunologist, an ex-director of Portakabin, and some contacts from our Shoreditch Boxpark project.

Following weeks of discussions, debates and drawings, we have designed, priced and programmed a safe and efficient solution. We have developed a kit to fit out 6,500 shipping containers as mobile, HTM compliant vaccination centres using the same supply chain as the Nightingale Hospitals.

Over twelve weeks, these shipping containers could be mobilised throughout the country in car parks and other public areas, staffed by NHS staff working in shifts to vaccinate the entire population of the UK. This solution does not rely on public mobility; the vaccination units can be delivered into the heart of villages and remote communities, or in clusters spread through towns and cities, vaccinating the local population before moving on.

Shipping containers are the perfect structure for this use. We have a stockpile of them in this country. They are incredibly efficient, robust structures and designed for transportation. Their linear form suits the through-put nature of the process.

Our team at Waugh Thistleton have come up with this idea, but it is not a proprietary solution. Our goal is to work with industry to get these manufactured and ready for deployment for when the vaccine arrives and to share our expertise and experience with other countries to provide a global solution.