Beverley joins fight against coronavirus to serve as a vaccination centre
Beverley racecourse is set to be part of England’s mass vaccination programme having secured a three-month contract to help immunise the local population.
Sally Iggulden, the course’s chief executive, said staff were looking forward to being part of the “one thing we’re resting our hopes on” to allow a return to normality after the coronavirus pandemic, having repurposed the annual badgeholders' building into a vaccination suite.
She said on Tuesday: “We approached the local NHS trust to see if we could help rolling out the vaccine. We had approval for that in December and hopefully we’ll start from tomorrow.
“We’re down to do that for three months and that may be extended depending on how that goes. It’s the one thing we’re resting our hopes on, so to be a part of that is really nice.”
More than 1.3 million people in Britain had received either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines by Tuesday afternoon, according to the government, with a record 60,916 people testing positive for Covid-19 across the United Kingdom on Tuesday.
The government is attempting to ramp up vaccination levels over the coming weeks, and Iggulden did not rule out Beverley’s staff becoming more involved in the process.
“There has been a request for volunteers to help and it could be that staff may be able to join doing that at some point,” she said. “To start off with there’ll be plenty of us there helping with car parking and stewarding. It’s quite nice for the team to have people on site again and I know they’re all looking forward to it. We’re expecting it to be really busy.”
Beverley is one of five racecourses in England confirmed as vaccination centres alongside Epsom, Newcastle, Windsor and Leicester and more are expected to be a part of the effort, with Racecourse Association chief executive David Armstrong calling them “a natural place” for it to happen.
He said: “We’re pleased to be able to do it. In some cases the racecourses have approached the NHS and in other cases the NHS has approached the racecourse, but there are quite a number of racecourses participating.
“The reason why they work so well is because of their size, space and parking facilities. They’re a natural place to bring a large amount of people to.”
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