'Sooner we get on top of this the better' - new Suffolk vaccine centre opens

Barbara, 74, receives her vaccine in Bury

Vaccinations have begun at the former River Walk School in Bury - Credit: Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

A former school has become the second mass vaccination centre to open in Suffolk. 

The former River Walk school in Bury St Edmunds welcomed its first patients this week, as vaccination efforts in the county continue.

Among the first to be vaccinated at the centre was 75-year-old Peter Killingworth. 

"I'm very happy to have the vaccine," said Mr Killingworth.  

Meanwhile Barbara, aged 74, said: "It's just fantastic to be here and having the vaccine."


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Fay Banks, 79, said: "I wasn't worried at all about having the vaccine."

Richard Bird, 74, said he was "glad to have it done."

Peter Killingworth receives his vaccination in Bury St Edmunds

Peter Killingworth receives his vaccination in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

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Ivor, also aged 74, said: "‘Really happy to have the vaccine, sooner we get on top of this the better."

The Bury site is one of a number of vaccine centres to be opening in the region this week. 

The Job Serve Community Stadium, home of Colchester United, opened its doors to its first patients on Tuesday as a vaccine centre. 

While Clacton Hospital is also set to begin to offer vaccines this week alongside Chelmsford City Racecourse. 

The new vaccine sites join the existing mass vaccination centre at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich which began vaccinating people last month. 

Richard Bird was among the first to be vaccinated at the former River Walk School in Bury St Edmunds

Richard Bird was among the first to be vaccinated at the former River Walk School in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Nigel Leonard, Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), which is coordinating the large vaccination centres across Mid and South Essex and Suffolk and North East Essex, said: “The opening of these centres will have a huge impact on our ability to accelerate vaccinations to the people of Essex and Suffolk and protect those most at risk as quickly as possible.

“I would like to thank my NHS colleagues, partners and everyone involved for their incredible work and dedication to enable these centres to open as quickly as possible.”

It is understood both Suffolk and Essex will eventually have 15 mass vaccination sites, all capable of vaccinating thousands of people every week.

In addition to the mass vaccination sites, there are currently 20 GP surgeries in the region offering the jab.

Three pharmacies across the two counties are also offering vaccinations.

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