Local GPs have invited a group of patients to be vaccinated in the 800-year-old building and the cathedral has organised a programme of music, which will be played on its 19th-century Father Willis organ.
The Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said the cathedral was delighted to be helping. “We are proud to be playing our part in the life-saving vaccination programme, which offers real hope in these difficult times,” he said.
“Staff of our local NHS and their patients will receive a warm welcome to their cathedral, and we assure them of our constant prayer.”
Dr Dan Henderson, co-clinical director for the Sarum South Primary Care Network, said: “It’s great to be further expanding the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wiltshire.
“This marks another step towards getting our lives back to normal. I understand that people are keen to get their jabs but please don’t call your doctor or the hospital asking about when you will get an appointment, we are following the priority order set out by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated. The huge vaccine programme is a marathon, not a sprint, but we will get to everyone.”
Only patients invited by the NHS should attend and were being asked to only arrive five minutes before their appointment time.
The cathedral, refectory and gift shop are all closed and services are taking place online.
On Friday the medieval nave of Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire was also turned into a vaccination centre.
Field hospital-style facilities and waiting areas were set up inside the cathedral, including along its central aisle.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Rev Adrian Dorber, said: “It’s a real glimmer of hope after a very dark year, and we are delighted to be able to offer the place as a nice, airy, socially distanced space in which this can take place. I hope it’s a symbol of how all the communities can come together to facilitate the rollout of this amazing vaccine.”
“We’ve got some really well-drilled volunteers and a really capable staff, who have gone into battle action and done it.”
Michael Fabricant, the city’s MP, tweeted: “They came in the middle ages for the cure. They still come today.”