More changes are planned in the local roll out of the Somerset COVID vaccination programme next month. Plans are now in place to move the vaccination centre from the existing location at Taunton Racecourse to a new site at Firepool, in Taunton in early October.
Pre-booked vaccination appointments and walk-ins will continue to run, seven days a week until the new site is ready to open. People aged 17 and three quarters can book a slot through the National Booking Service, or if aged 16 and over – people can walk-in to get a Pfizer jab – every day, between 8.30am and 7pm, without booking first.
Over the next few weeks, work will take place to prepare the new centre, using specially designed portacabins at the Firepool site. When the new site is ready, the existing site will close to enable the racecourse team to return to business as usual.
Existing vaccination teams and many volunteers from the racecourse site will move across to the new site when preparations are completed.
Andy Heron, joint senior responsible officer for the Somerset COVID vaccination programme said “The vaccination programme in Somerset has been extremely successful, thanks to the support of hundreds of GPs, nurses, vaccinators and volunteers. We are very grateful to the team at Taunton Racecourse and the local community for their ongoing support throughout the vaccination programme. This vaccination site has been very popular, delivering over 150,000 jabs since January – an incredible achievement.
“As part of our ongoing planning for the COVID vaccination programme, we need to ensure that we can make it as easy as possible for people to continue to get their COVID jabs. We are really pleased to have found a new central site in Taunton with good public access and the capacity to deliver a large number of daily vaccinations.”
The NHS, Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) and Somerset County Council colleagues will work together over the coming weeks to put arrangements in place to get the site ready for opening at the beginning of October.
Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Assets at SWT, said: “We are delighted to support the Somerset COVID vaccination programme by offering the use of our Firepool regeneration site for a vaccination centre. This is an ideal venue with plenty of space for parking if needed, excellent transport links, and a cycleway and footpath direct to the town centre.
“Making it available for this vital facility will not impact on our ongoing planning for the whole site which is progressing at pace, or delivery of the Digital Innovation Centre in partnership with SCC. Part of the site has already been brought back into temporary use and enabling works have paved the way for the vital infrastructure and engineering works that will commence in Spring ’22.”
There are a broad range of vaccination sites in Somerset on offer through the National Booking Service including; large vaccination sites, GP-led community sites and an increasing number of new pharmacy-led sites.
In addition, each week a range of walk-in clinics are available for anyone aged 16 and over. To check which weekend walk-in clinics are available please visit: Covid-19 vaccinations in Somerset – Somerset CCG