Westpoint one of two news venues to be used for vaccine roll out
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Two landmark venues in Devon are opening as NHS Vaccination Centres, ready to vaccinate tens of thousands of local people in coming weeks.
The Mayflower Grandstand at Plymouth Argyle Football Club’s Home Park Stadium, and exhibition and event venue Westpoint Exeter offered their first booked appointments to people in priority groups from Tuesday.
The two sites in Devon are among six launching across the South West today, bringing the national total to 50.
The Home Park and Westpoint Exeter sites mean thousands more vaccinations will be given every week in Devon and provide local people have a wider choice of options when they receive their invitation for an appointment.
Anyone who cannot or does not want to travel to one of the sites can be vaccinated by their local GP service. Nobody needs to contact the NHS, as people will be invited when it is their turn and people cannot get vaccinated by just turning up.
Darryn Allcorn, Lead Chief Nurse for Devon and Chief Nurse at Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Every time someone in Devon is vaccinated, it brings us a small step closer to the end of the pandemic.
“These two new sites will deliver thousands of vaccinations each week, initially bringing reassurance, safety and peace of mind for those receiving the jab, and in time, when restrictions are lifted, the confidence and safety to get back to normal life.
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“Well done and thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make these sites happen in such a short space of time.”
Centres will be staffed by specially trained vaccinators and support staff, with help from dozens of volunteers, with more being sought to help out in coming weeks.
Westpoint Exeter will be managed by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E), which runs the city’s Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive of the RD&E and Northern Devon Healthcare Trust said: “Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, cases of COVID-19 in the community remain high, and so it’s really important that we continue to observe the national lockdown, staying at home unless for work, exercise or essential activities.”