A NEW vaccination centre is set to open on Monday (October 11).

Final preparations are being made at Firepool on Canal Road in Taunton.

This new centre will replace the existing vaccination site at Taunton Racecourse.

READ MORE: New Covid vaccination centre in Firepool, Taunton

David Griffin, Taunton Racecourse chairman, said: “It has been a great privilege to host a vaccination centre here at Taunton Racecourse over the last 10 months.

"We are all very proud of playing our part in delivering vaccinations for people in the region during this time.

"But we now move forward and our racing calendar starts again on Wednesday, October 27, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Taunton Racecourse over the coming months.”

READ MORE: 'We feel privileged' - couple first to get jab at Taunton Racecourse mass vaccination centre

The centre will be open from 8.30am until 7.30pm, and the vaccines will be given from a number of specifically designed portacabins on the site.

This site will enable up to 800 people a day to have their Covid-19 jab.

Caroline Upton, head of nursing & quality for the Somerset Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Programme, added: “We want to thank the team at Taunton Racecourse for their huge support in accommodating the vaccination programme and enabling us to deliver an incredible 170,000 vaccinations.

"While we will be sad to leave the racecourse site, we are delighted to be opening a new site in Taunton that will also enable the racecourse to return to business as usual.

“The Firepool site is a fantastic new facility in the centre of Taunton, with great public transport links, ample parking and easy access on site.

"Our dedicated vaccination teams and wonderful volunteers will be ready to welcome the first people to the site on Monday.”

Anyone aged 16 and over can now walk into the site for their first and second doses of the vaccination.

Those who are now eligible for a booster jab should book their vaccination no earlier than six months after their second primary dose.

People in the following groups are now eligible for thier booster vaccine:

  • People aged 50 and over
  • People who live and work in care homes
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
  • People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19
  • People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

The Somerset Covid-19 vaccination programme has delivered more than 852,513 jabs since the launch of the programme in December 2020.

More than15% of the total number of vaccinations have taken place at the Taunton Racecourse site, with more than 170,000 jabs given.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, executive member for assets at Somerset West and Taunton Council, said: “We are delighted to support the Somerset Covid vaccination programme by offering the use of our Firepool regeneration site for a vaccination centre.

"This is an ideal venue with plenty of space for parking if needed, excellent transport links, and a cycleway and footpath direct to the town centre.

“Making it available for this vital facility will not impact on our ongoing planning for the whole site which is progressing at pace, or delivery of the nearby Digital Innovation Centre in partnership with Somerset County Council.

"Part of the site has already been brought back into temporary use for enabling works to pave the way for the vital infrastructure and engineering works that will commence in spring 2022.”