Patients, staff and volunteers have been bidding fond farewells to iconic mass vaccination centres in BSW over recent weeks after a successful programme which has seen more than 2.6 million vaccines delivered.
The vaccination programme has bought together staff from hospitals, local authorities, doctors’ surgeries and an army of volunteers in some amazing venues across BSW including City Hall in Salisbury, Steam in Swindon and the racecourse in Bath.
The vaccination centres were stood up quickly and efficiently thanks to some amazing partnership work by councils, hospitals and other partners that make up the BSW Together Integrated Care System.
However, as local demand for vaccination begins to reduce, and staff based in the centres move to other areas of the local health and care system, there is no longer a need to keep mass vaccination centres open.
Speaking about the closure of Salisbury City Hall, Hayley Morgan, Consultant in Public Health for Wiltshire, said, “Having a vaccination centre at City Hall has been a great asset in the Covid response, and we want to congratulate our NHS colleagues for helping to protect so many people across the county. Whilst City Hall will no longer be a vaccination centre, you can still get vaccinated at other Wiltshire locations to protect yourself and your family.”
Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said:
“While it is bittersweet to leave these venue after so long, we do so in a much better place, with the vast majority of our population now vaccinated against Covid, and the height of the pandemic firmly behind us.
After Sunday 12 February, any person aged between 16 and 49-years-old and not in a clinical risk group will be unable to get the initial Covid-19 booster, which for most people would have been their third vaccination for coronavirus.
This date is also the last opportunity for people over the age of 50 to come forward for the autumn booster vaccine, which was rolled out to older people, as well as those who are considered vulnerable, at the end of 2022.
Despite the closures, vaccine availability in the region remains strong with many smaller venues, including GP practices and community pharmacies, offering the jab.
People can find their nearest vaccination centre, as well as book an appointment to get vaccinated, online at www.nhs.uk. More information on the local Covid-19 vaccination programme, including an extensive list of frequently asked questions, is available at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.