COVID vaccinations at Harrogate’s Yorkshire Events Centre draw to a close

The GP-led COVID vaccination programme at the Yorkshire Events Centre (YEC) in Harrogate has drawn to a close, six months after the first jab was given.

More than 117,000 vaccines have been administered from the centre by an enthusiastic army of clinicians and volunteers.

Doctors’ leaders in the Harrogate district say they are “immensely proud” to have played a part in the biggest national vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.

Yorkshire Health Network Director and GP at Knaresborough’s Stockwell Road Surgery, Dr Cath Dixon, said: “As GPs, we were asked to vaccinate the most vulnerable in society, those with the greatest medical need and over-50s and I’m delighted we were able to respond to the national ‘call to arms’ in an hour of great need.

“GP surgeries have been open throughout the pandemic and are now busier than ever, so with other vaccination sites available to vaccinate the younger, more ‘mobile’ age cohorts, it’s a relief we can now begin to step back from the vaccination programme and focus our efforts on front-line health and care.

“We are enormously grateful to the YEC for allowing us to ‘commandeer’ their facilities for six months – it’s a sign of a brighter future that normal activities can be resumed at the showground and is in no small part down to the success of the vaccination programme.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank NHS North Yorkshire CCG for its help and support and every individual who has played a role in the clinics at the YEC and Ripon Racecourse sites, including all of the staff drawn in from the Yorkshire Health Network and local surgeries and a small army of amazing volunteers – the teamwork of everybody who’s marshalled, vaccinated, administrated and coordinated has been incredible and it’s something that will stay with me for a long time.”

With a number of second-dose clinics due to be held at Ripon Racecourse in the next few weeks, along with other vaccination hubs in North Yorkshire, the NHS says it is crucial people take up the offer of a second vaccine dose to give themselves, their families and the people around them, maximum protection.

Meanwhile, anyone aged over the age of 18 can now book a vaccination through the NHS National Booking Service website, or by calling 119.

A number of sites are available for people living in the Harrogate district, including pharmacy-led sites at Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge and clinics are also being held at larger regional vaccination hubs.

Dr Chris Preece, Clinical Director of the Knaresborough and Rural Primary Care Network, added: “We are proud to have been part of the largest NHS vaccination programme in history, but it’s clear that this would not have been possible without the help of our many partners.

“In particular, we are grateful for the use of both the YEC and Ripon Racecourse sites, and to their teams who helped to both establish the sites and to keep them functioning.

“The CCG and local authority partners at North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council have been wonderful.

“And similarly, it would have been impossible to achieve what we’ve achieved without the tireless assistance of our volunteers, provided by a raft of extraordinary Voluntary Sector Organisations across the Harrogate and Rural area – as well as our own staff, both those who have combined duties with their ongoing work at GP surgeries and those who came out of retirement in order to make this happen.”

About the vaccination programme in the Harrogate district

  • So far in the Harrogate district, the GP-led vaccination programme has delivered 149,763 vaccine doses (out of a current district total of 211,051 – correct as of 27/6/21)
  • This comprises 124,699 jabs in the Harrogate area and 25,064 in Ripon
  • The first COVID vaccine was administered at the YEC site on Tuesday 22 December; the last jab was given on 19 June
  • In total, 117,371 vaccine doses have been given at the YEC site
  • 6,141 doses of the vaccine given in the Harrogate area were recorded as “care home or other residential setting” or “long-stay care home or long-stay residential facility”
  • 1,187 vaccines were given to the house-bound in the Harrogate area
  • 24,218 vaccine doses have been given at the Ripon Racecourse site so far, with another five clinics planned for the coming few weeks
  • In the Ripon area, 503 jabs have been given to people living in a “care home or other residential setting”, or “long-stay care home or long-stay residential facility”
  • 343 doses have been given in the homes of housebound patients in the Ripon area
  • The oldest patients to be vaccinated in the Harrogate district were aged 106 – one was given the vaccine in their own home and the other had their jabs in a care home
  • A total of 450 people have worked on the vaccination programme at the YEC over the course of six months, including practice and ‘bank’ staff, as well as volunteers
  • The six ‘fantastic’ Voluntary Sector Organisations who have supported the vaccination programme in the Harrogate district are: Nidderdale Plus, Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA), Knaresborough Connectors, Ripon Community House, Mashamshire Community Office and Boroughbridge Community Care