New vaccination centre to open in Ripon – to take pressure off site in York

The location of Ripon’s coronavirus vaccination centre and when it will open has been confirmed by NHS officials.

Amanda Bloor, accountable officer at NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, told a briefing this morning that Ripon Racecourse will be used as a base to vaccinate patients and that it will open “next week”.

The announcement follows complaints from councillors that elderly and vulnerable residents were struggling to reach appointments at the nearest available sites in Harrogate or York.

Councillor Andrew Williams, leader of Ripon City Council, previously said expecting elderly residents to take 60-mile round trips to York was “wholly inappropriate” and has now welcomed confirmation of the racecourse site.

He said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this and I am delighted the authorities have swiftly addressed concerns from the city council because this was a considerable worry for a lot of people.

“The racecourse clearly has a lot of benefits because it has ample space and car parking.

“Having our own site will clearly be an awful lot better than people having to trape across to York or the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. It will make it so much easier, especially for those who live in the neighbouring hinterlands around Ripon.”

It comes as NHS officials have also confirmed in the first official figures that 107,752 vaccinations have been carried out across North Yorkshire and York since the programme started in December.

All care home residents and staff in the county were also offered a vaccine by the target date of 24 January, and those over 70 and listed as clinically extremely vulnerable are now next in line.