Covid: Ripon Racecourse to reopen as vaccine centre and Knaresborough site to relocate for booster jabs
Ripon Racecourse will reopen as a Covid vaccination centre and Knaresborough's York Road site will relocate for the now-underway booster programme.
The rollout of third doses to around 30million people across the UK began this week and a full list of sites of where the jabs will be delivered in the Harrogate district has yet to be revealed.
However, Amanda Bloor, accountable officer for the NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, has said Ripon Racecourse will reopen as a vaccination centre and that Knaresborough's York Road site at the former Lidl supermarket will move to the town's Chain Lane Community Hub.
Speaking at a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum today, Ms Bloor said these sites would help increase capacity and that other venues were being confirmed by NHS England.
She said: "We are going to have a mix of venues delivering the booster programme - some of our practice sites will be delivering the vaccines and in addition there will also be a number of community pharmacy sites across North Yorkshire.
"The community pharmacy sites are managed by NHS England and are currently undergoing a site assurance process.
"We are awaiting the outcome of these assurance visits and after that there will be a complete list of sites.
"In Knaresborough, the old Lidl vaccination site is relocating to the Chain Lane Community Hub from Tuesday and it will mean this site can significantly increase capacity.
"Also, the Ripon Racecourse site will reopen for the booster programme."
Ripon Racecourse closed as a vaccination centre in July after being used for the first phase of the rollout, while Knaresborough's York Road site is still being used.
The rollout of booster jabs follows a recommendation from the government's vaccine advisers, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which said third doses should be given at least six months after a person has had their second - with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab recommended.
The recommendations come amid concern about waning immunity, with JCVI saying that it wanted to take the precautionary approach of boosters to ensure the most vulnerable people maintain high levels of protection.
Those eligible for the booster jabs include over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and care workers.
Patients will be invited on a priority basis and they have been urged not to contact the NHS, but to wait to hear from the health service.
Ms Bloor explained: "The booster programme will be delivered as it was in phase one with the most vulnerable being invited first, so care home residents will be prioritised.
"Cohorts one to nine, in order, will be invited for a booster no earlier than six months from their second dose. The boosters will be by appointment only and there won't be a drop-in service at this point.
"Patients will be contacted directly by the NHS and this may be through text, letter or by their practice.
"There is no need for anyone to contact their GP and I want to stress this... the NHS will be in touch with you."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter