The new hub opened this morning at the East of England Arena and will work alongside the testing centre operating at a seperate location on the same site.
There were relatively low numbers being vaccinated on the first day of operation with the first patients receiving the vaccinations in the Cambridge Suite Bar area at the Showground which has been specially adapted with screened areas and spaced seating.This is part of the city’s continued efforts to vaccinate the population and further reduce the number that require hospital treatment due to Covid-19.
Figures revealed on Monday (February 15) show that as of February 9, Peterborough’s case rate had dipped below 300 per 100,000 people (281.8) for the first time since early December but the rate still remains well above the overall UK figure (158.7).
One of those to receive her vaccine today was Sue Welch, she said: “I’m very, very happy today, I’ve been waiting for weeks for this.
“Getting vaccinated is the only way to keep not just myself safe but others as well, It’s also the only route back to normal life.
“I didn’t actually realise that this was the site’s first day, it was all very efficient and well-handled.”
Another to receive their jab today was Ian (69). he added: “I’m pleased to get this opportunity today, I suppose you could say that it’s a relief. I didn’t have any qualms about getting the vaccination.
“I’m not sure it’ll make a huge amount of difference to my way of life in the short term because we all still have to stay at home and follow the rules but having it done is the way back to normal life in the future.”
Staff from across the NHS have been drafted in to help the vaccination effort but volunteers have been crucial to the effective operation of the sites.
One such volunteer, who was on duty at the Showground today, is Linda Horne.
She has been volunteering with the NHS Responders since March and has since taken on shifts at each of the city’s three major vaccination hubs, the City Care Centre, Halls the Chemist in Orton Wistow and now the Showground.
She has been doing this alongside working as a self-employed mortgage broker.
She said: “It feels really good to be out and doing something.
“In March, I decided it would be no good if I was just sitting at home doing nothing and not helping.
“Vaccinations are so important. I’ve got a son who lives out in Australia, I don’t know when I’ll get to see him again but over there they have been really strict with the rules and the restrictions have been able to be lifted.
“I’ve seen such a good uptake from people and so much happiness at getting the jab done.
“I remember one day at the City Care Centre, we got through 626 vaccinations and every single one of them gave positive feedback.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara welcomed the new mass vaccination hub, he said: “This is welcome news and I’m really pleased that we now have another place for receiving vaccines in our area.
“The East of England Showground is an excellent location for setting up a centre.
“It is easy to access, is spacious and has plenty of parking available.”