A COUNCILLOR has expressed concerns over low vaccination rates as a city centre vaccination site is set to close later this week.

The centre at Churchill Square in Brighton, which has been open since August last year, will close at the end of the day tomorrow.

At its peak, the centre at the former Topshop store gave over 1,000 vaccinations every day.

A briefing sent from Brighton and Hove City Council to councillors and MPs said that demand for Covid-19 vaccinations is reducing and that vaccinations will continue to remain available across the city through clinics, some pharmacies and mobile units.

The Argus: The vaccination centre will close its doors for the last time tomorrowThe vaccination centre will close its doors for the last time tomorrow

However, Councillor Samer Bagaeen, who represents Hove Park ward, said the decision is surprising given the city’s low vaccination rate.

He said: “This decision is unbelievable and put into perspective the city’s low vaccination rates and the inability of the council to reach those communities that had been hard to reach all through the pandemic.

“We could have scaled back the vaccination unit but to close it down without consultation and with a week’s notice is unbelievable in a city where council officers cannot attend meetings in person and where Green councillors continue to wear masks in council buildings.”

Nearly a quarter of adults in Brighton and Hove have not been vaccinated against the virus, with only 77.6 per cent of those eligible being immunised.

Refusal rates were highest among 30-34 year-olds, with only 66 per cent receiving at least one dose, while 94.1 per cent of those aged 80 or over have been vaccinated.

On the subject of the city’s vaccination rate, a spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council told The Argus last week: “While the take-up in the city is lower than some other areas of the country, it is comparable with other similar cities.

“As we continue to promote and deliver vaccinations seven days a week, our rates continue to increase with more people getting their vaccines every day.

“Covid hasn’t gone away and we would urge everyone who hasn’t had all of their vaccinations to come forward as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust - which operates the Churchill Square vaccination centre, said: “Large-scale vaccination centres have been an integral part of our vaccination efforts in Sussex. At its peak, the centre was able to give over 1,000 vaccinations every day, and thanks to the team there we have helped to keep thousands of people safe from Covid-19.

“As more and more become fully vaccinated, the need for such a large vaccination centre in the city has reduced. For those that still need it or are yet to come forward, the Covid-19 vaccination continues to be available at smaller community venues and mobile sites that are easy for people to get to or they may be more familiar with.