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18 January 2021

Newbury and Taunton join as eight racecourses operate as vaccination centres

These photographs show a poignant moment as the first patients arrived at Newbury racecourse to  receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The racecourse has joined in the national efforts in the fight against Coronavirus, in partnership with West Berks NHS, and local GPs and nurses who are working tirelessly to vaccinate up to 1,500 patients a day.

Harriet Collins Marketing Director for Newbury Racecourse said: “Newbury Racecourse is very proud to be playing a small but vital role in the fight against COVID-19 with the launch of the Vaccination Centre in the Dubai Duty Free Grandstand earlier this week.

“To see some of Newbury’s most vulnerable arriving to be vaccinated has been particularly heart-warming to watch. We have an abundance of space to be able to offer to the NHS and we have served as a community hub throughout the pandemic, including its use as a Primary Care Unit during the first lockdown, the Meals on Wheels service in conjunction with Age Concern and the ongoing use of the site for NHS Blood Donations which are more important than ever.

“Our thanks must go to the work of the West Berks NHS and all the local GPs and nurses for their tireless efforts.”

Find out more about Newbury’s community activity throughout the pandemic here.

Nurse Sabita Clark with Freda Smith, 92 from Thatcham
Vaccination centre opens at Newbury Racecourse

Today, Monday 18 January is the first day Taunton Racecourse opens as a large vaccination centre, and will operate seven days a week to vaccinate people in the highest priority groups, up to 900 vaccinations per day.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council said:

“I’m thrilled Taunton Racecourse is set to start vaccinating those in priority groups from Monday. This will substantially increase the number of vaccinations we are delivering across Somerset and help protect our most vulnerable from this deadly disease.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in setting up and organising all our vaccination centres in such a short space of time, including the NHS, Somerset County Council staff, our District Council partners, community groups and volunteers. This really is the largest vaccination programme ever delivered in our living history.”

Bob Young, Managing Director of Taunton Racecourse added:

“Taunton Racecourse is very pleased to be able to help the NHS by accommodating the vaccine centre.

“We are all immensely grateful and full of admiration for our NHS staff and hope that the people of Taunton and surrounding areas will benefit from a vaccination jab as soon as possible”

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