The mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at Lincolnshire Showground hit a huge milestone recently, having reached an incredible 50,000 vaccinations so far.
The showground has been used as a COVID-19 testing site since April 2020, and also a vaccination centre since January 2021.
It is one of two mass vaccination centres in Lincolnshire, along with the Princess Royal Sports Arena in Boston, helping the county to have the third highest vaccine rate in England.
The vaccine rollout has gone from strength to strength across the county, and as a result the Lincolnshire Showground staff recently celebrated their 50,000th vaccination.
Almost 70% of Lincolnshire’s adult population have now received at least their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and health bosses predict we will hit the 70% mark by the middle of May.
The latest NHS data shows that a total of 596,153 jabs have taken place in the county, with the numbers rising every week.
Rebecca Neno is the person in charge of the vaccination rollout in Lincolnshire, as well as being deputy chief nurse at NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and she sang the praises of the “amazing” staff who have made this rollout possible.
“Lincolnshire’s response to the pandemic has made people feel safe, and that’s down to everyone”, she said.
“The programme has come together across Lincolnshire to protect our people, it is phenomenal.”
Rebecca also told The Lincolnite that her team have been well prepared to deal with the challenges that come with the vaccination rollout.
“We have a dedicated equality and inclusion team that are aligned with the programme to dispel myths and misinformation, as well as engage with different parts of our population.
“The vaccine will not kill you, but COVID might — the key word here is safety.”
Terry Vine, clinical and operational lead at NHS Lincolnshire CCG, said it was a “hugely emotional moment” as the 50,000th patient was vaccinated at Lincolnshire Showground on Friday, April 30.
“We made the person aware that they were the 50,000th one by getting them flowers and chocolates. They were crying, I was crying, all my staff were crying, it was so emotional.
“The showground has been excellent at managing the pandemic, both with the testing and vaccination centres, and we are working very closely with them to ensure that events can still go ahead while vaccinations take place.”
There is capacity to do 1,000 vaccinations a day at Lincolnshire Showground, but Terry told The Lincolnite the amount often depends on when the latest cohorts are released.
“As we introduce new cohorts for different age groups, the demand for appointments increases, and then naturally slows down the further through cohorts we are.”
At the moment, those over the age of 40 are eligible for vaccines across Lincolnshire, and they can arrange an appointment to book through the NHS booking service once they are notified by message.