Exclusive: Great Yorkshire Showground gave 117,000 vaccines in six months
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Last updated Jun 28, 2021
A patient receives a covid vaccine at the Great Yorkshire Showground vaccination site, which closed this month.
A patient receives a covid vaccine at the Great Yorkshire Showground vaccination site, which closed this month.

Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showground vaccination site administered more than 117,000 vaccines in its six months of operation, the Stray Ferret can reveal.

The centre gave its final jab on June 19.

Doctors involved in setting up the site have said they are “immensely proud” of what it achieved.

Dr Cath Dixon, Yorkshire Health Network Director and GP at Knaresborough’s Stockwell Road Surgery, told the Stray Ferret that it was a “privilege” to be part of the vaccination programme.

She said:

“It was a real privilege. 

“I was one of the doctors working there in December when it opened and it was a privilege to work with those patients who had been hibernating for so long.

“The emotions ran high that day.”

Dr Dixon said the site was a “great challenge” to set up, but that GPs achieved what they set out to do and vaccinate the vulnerable.

She added that the site would not have been able to do that without the many volunteers and marshals who kept the centre running on a daily basis.

Six months of vaccinations

In total, the Great Yorkshire Showground site carried out 117,371 vaccines in the six months it was open.

A total of 17 GP practices came together to help open the site, which administered its first jab on December 22, and 450 people have worked on the vaccination programme.


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Practitioners settled on the showground because of its size and the need to keep batches of the Pfizer vaccine refrigerated on site.

At full capacity, the centre could give up to 1,800 vaccines a day and reached its 100,000th jab in April.

Dr Chris Preece, a GP partner in Boroughbridge and Knaresborough who helped to draw up the site plans.

Dr Chris Preece, a GP partner in Boroughbridge and Knaresborough who helped to draw up the site plans

Dr Chris Preece, clinical director of the Knaresborough and Rural Primary Care Network, one of the GPs who helped set up the centre, said:

“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.”

He added:

“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.”

Vaccinations will still carry on at Ripon Racecourse, Pateley Bridge and Knaresborough pharmacies.

The Ripon site has so far given 24,218 vaccines and is set to continue offering appointments for second doses.

Other large-scale vaccination sites, such as Elland Road stadium in Leeds and Askham Bar in York, will also be available to Harrogate residents who have yet to have the vaccine.

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