THE city's first mass flu vaccination site is now open.

Worcester Racecourse is playing host to the vaccinations, with organisers saying they can vaccinate 1,000 people a day when it is fully operational.

The site is being run by the Worcester Primary Care Network and Clinical Commissioning Group after the success of similar sites for coronavirus vaccination such as the Three Counties Showground and St Peters Baptist Church.

The Worcester News was invited in for the site's pilot day, which saw the first flu jabs handed out to the over-50s.

David McDowell, patient quality manager at Worcester City PCN, said the turnout had been hugely encouraging on day one.

He said: "We tried to think out of the box with how we rolled out the flu vaccinations this year.

"People can still do them via their GPs, but the GPs are under huge pressure, so the potential here is we can hugely expand the number of people having their flu jab and get it done more quickly.

"We can do up to 1,000 people per day but there is huge potential for expansion.

"We have six vaccinators currently, but if we can get 12 working, the number of people we can vaccinate is hugely exciting.

"We think there are roughly 40,000 people in the city who are eligible for their flu jab now, so when normally you could wait until January for yours, we could potentially have it done before Christmas."

The racecourse was turned over for vaccinations despite there being a race-day on the site the following day.

Mr McDowell thanked the management of the racecourse for agreeing to let them use the space, saying they had accommodated them perfectly.

Worcester Racecourse general manager Michael Thomas said: "It has been such a difficult year for the racecourse and for everyone, so when the opportunity came up to help the NHS with this, we were more than happy to help.

"I had my flu jab this morning, so hopefully even more people can come down and get theirs."

The vaccination site is open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week and residents can call to book their jab once contacted by their GP.

There are also a small number of walk-ins available.

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