A RACECOURSE that will be used as a vaccination site in the fight against Covid-19 has opened today.

The opening of Brighton Racecourse means all GP practices in the city are now covered by the rollout.

It's part of the ongoing effort to vaccinate the country, the largest national vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS.

It comes just days after MP Lloyd-Russell Moyle claimed the opening of the site was delayed because the government didn't "pay rent".

The Argus:  The opening of Brighton Racecourse GP means all GP practices in the city are now covered by the rollout The opening of Brighton Racecourse GP means all GP practices in the city are now covered by the rollout

Dr Helen Curr, CEO of Here, the organisation who have coordinated the site said: “It is our enormous privilege to be involved in a unique collaboration between ourselves and a number of primary care networks in Brighton, Hove, and the Havens.

"Our partnership teams have worked flat out to set up sites that will enable us to quickly and safely vaccinate as many people as possible.

“We are so grateful to our staff who have worked tirelessly through the Christmas and New year period to turn this ambition into a reality.

"With every hour that passes, the total number of people who have received a first dose or who have a booked an appointment is providing hope for a better 2021.

"We have never been prouder to be part of our outstanding NHS, and are excited to welcome people to our racecourse site this week.”

Appointments for the GP-led service are currently for the first priority groups – those most at risk of COVID-19 – people over the age of 80.

People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and are asked to not contact their GP to ask for the vaccine.

Allison Cannon, senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme and Chief Nursing Officer for the Sussex CCGs, said: “We are really pleased to be able to announce arrangements are now in place for patients registered GPs in the city to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at the new GP led vaccination service at Brighton Racecourse.

“We do ask everyone to recognise this is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken and it will take some time to get to everyone.

“The NHS across our local area is working extremely hard to get the vaccine to everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible and a significant number of the first priority cohorts have already received their vaccinations, and more do so every day.

READ MORE >>Coronavirus: Brighton Racecourse to be used as vaccine site

"This is testament to the hard work and commitment of NHS and healthcare staff."

Dr Simon Hinks, the clinical lead at the site for Here, said: “The set up has been hardwork but we have all been working together across the pCNs and Here to get it over the line.

"I have been humbled by the contribution of everyone in the team and the way we have worked together is a bright shining light in a very dark year.

“I feel privileged to be in a position to make a significant contribution as part of an amazing multidisciplinary team who all have made a huge individual and unique contribution to get this up and running .

"I would particularly like to thank Craig Milne Clinical Director of Preston Park Community PCN who did this first and made the job of following on so much easier through his dedication and long hours.”

Find out more about the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex.