Covid-19 vaccine hub opens at Taunton Racecourse

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image captionBarbara Watkins, 82, from Chilton Polden, was among the first to receive her vaccine at Taunton Racecourse

Taunton Racecourse has opened its doors as one of 10 mass coronavirus vaccination centres across the country.

The hub aims to provide about 900 vaccinations a day and is open from 08:00 - 20:00, seven days a week.

Earlier it welcomed its first visitors in the highest priority groups such as over 80s and health staff.

Barbara Watkins, 82, from the village of Chilton Polden, was one of the first to receive the jab and said she was "pleased" to have had it.

Ms Watkins said she had read up about the vaccination which put any doubts in her mind at rest.

image captionNurse Jenny Viney prepares a vaccine to be administered at the new hub

"I'm just pleased actually that I've had it. I was a bit in doubt about it in the beginning, but the more I read about it, and listened about it, I decided that it was definitely the right thing.

"Although we live a very quiet life, it was still the right thing to do," she said.

The racecourse was announced as one of 10 large scale vaccination hubs on Saturday and it began by vaccinating residents from the priority groups who live up to 45 minutes away from the site.

image captionThe racecourse in Somerset opened as a vaccination hub on Monday morning

Alison Wootton, who is the joint senior responsible officer for Somerset's Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: "It's been a huge task but we've brought together a great team across Somerset, so health, social care, the council, the voluntary sector, and the army are now coming to help.

"It's started to work really well. We definitely think we will get up to 900 vaccinations a day and our ambition is to do more than that."

Ashton Gate in Bristol was among the first seven hubs announced earlier this month as the Government looks to expand the national vaccination programme.

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