Ripon Racecourse to shut Covid-19 vaccine centre for race days
The coronavirus vaccination hub at Ripon Racecourse will temporarily shut to allow horse racing to go ahead, it's been confirmed
The hub opened on Wednesday and has the capacity to vaccinate between 500 and 600 people a day. But the centre will shutfor race days, with more than 15 scheduled between April and September.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer at NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said closing the vaccine site on these days had been planned for and that patients would still receive their jabs.
She told a briefing on Wednesday: "We won't be holding any vaccination clinics on the day of racing and we have worked through that with the site. It won't impact the vaccine programme because when we are aware of delivery of the vaccine we will plan clinics appropriately.
"The site in Harrogate at the Yorkshire Events Centre and the site at Ripon Racecourse work really closely together so we can flex capacity as appropriate."
The vaccine site was announced last week after complaints from councillors that elderly and vulnerable residents were struggling to reach appointments at the nearest available sites in Harrogate or York.
The first patients had been due to attend on Tuesday morning, but with wintry weather conditions forecast, clinical leaders took the decision to reschedule those appointments on the grounds of patient safety.
Dr Richard Fletcher, clinical director of the Ripon and Masham Primary Care Network, said: “We’re grateful to Ripon Racecourse for stepping forward to offer their site for this, as it solves many of the problems presented by other locations. It is another significant step in increasing coverage in the region.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter