A SECOND mass vaccination centre for Cornwall has opened on the Royal Cornwall Showground.

From Monday (February 1), the centre at Wadebridge began vaccinating the most vulnerable in Cornwall.

The Stithians Showground was the first large scale vaccination centre to open in the county a week earlier, as the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine continues.

Iain Davidson, clinical lead for the vaccination centres and hospital hub, and chief pharmacist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is further good news for Cornwall. The opening of this second vaccination centre will mean we will be able to protect even more people.

“We will continue to vaccinate the most vulnerable based on the priority groups set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

“People aged 70 and over, and adults of all ages who are the most vulnerable are also due to receive a letter inviting them to book an appointment as they are within the first four priority groups.”

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall (Conservative) has been delighted with the news. He said: “The Mass Vaccination Site at the Royal Cornwall Showground near Wadebridge and is another milestone in our COVID-19 response. It will enable the NHS to administer thousands more doses and further speed up the rollout of the vaccine in North Cornwall.

“Currently, there are 16 GP-led vaccination hubs in Cornwall, with more opening regularly. Hubs in Devon are also vaccinating Cornish residents near the border, in areas like Bude and elsewhere, and some local pharmacies are also administering the vaccine.

“Constituents will be invited to book an appointment for a vaccination when it is your turn, and according to the vaccine priority list. Home vaccinations will be organised for those who are unable to travel to the clinic for medical reasons.

“Nationwide, nearly eight million people have now been vaccinated, with nearly half a million having now received their second dose at the time of recording. The sooner people are vaccinated, the sooner we can start thinking about returning to life as normal. If you are having trouble getting a vaccine or if you’re having any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me or my office.”

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s director of Public Health added: “I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the second vaccination centre for Cornwall. Whilst the vaccine programme continues to roll out, we must keep up with all the good work we have been doing to limit the spread of the virus.

“It’s really important that you please continue to limit your contact with other people, even after you have received your vaccine. The vaccine does not mean that you are immune immediately, so we can’t start hugging each other just yet, or stop following social distancing guidelines. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime, we must keep our guard up.”

Chris Riddle, secretary for Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, said: “We are very pleased that we can help with the national roll-out and provide a further vaccination site for Cornwall. It has been a difficult year for everyone, and the fact that we can give back to our community in this way has been a great privilege.”

Anyone attending an appointment at the vaccine centre will be greeted by volunteers who will marshal car parks and register them when they arrive. The centre has been organised to allow for social distancing.

They will receive a health check and a pre-vaccination assessment before the vaccine, and then be observed for 15 minutes afterwards.

Those who require extra support from a carer should have them attend the appointment but is asked this is kept to a maximum of one other person to maintain social distancing. Wheelchairs will be available for anyone who requires them, and disabled parking is available on site.

People attending their appointments should wear loose clothing to provide vaccinators easy access to the arm, and flat shoes.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, visit NHS Kernow’s dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page.