Covid vaccine centre opens at Newbury Racecourse

  • Watch a report by Charlotte Briere-Edney

A new vaccination centre to give people Covid-19 vaccines has opened at Newbury Racecourse.

On the first day the more than a thousand appointments on offer have been booked by people hoping to get their injections from the medical team on site.

Staff are preparing to vaccinate people visiting the racecourse for their appointments

Dr Abid Irfan, the Chair of the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group ( BW CCG) said that all nine GP practices in Newbury and the surrounding district came together to set up a 'mini' mass vaccination centre. They held a test run last week.

Today is the first day at full capacity with twelve pods - each with medical staff equipped as vaccinators to carry out injections of the Pfizer vaccine.

He said that the nine practices and three primary care networks in the area are only vaccinating people at the racecourse. The CCG Chair added that the situation may change later on if they receive the Oxford vaccine, which is more stable, in large quantities.

Dr Irfan said that the organisations involved had spent some time planning the large logistical operation.

The priority groups that the medical teams at the centre are looking at until the end of the month are the over 80s and staff from care homes.

Dr Irfan asked people not to call their surgeries to ask for the vaccine, because GP surgeries will contact patients to offer appointments as they work down the list of priority groups.