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Horse Racing

Newbury racecourse and GPs hit back at critics as coronavirus vaccinations halted for Wednesday’s planned fixture

NEWBURY racecourse have hit back following criticism that Covid vaccinations were halted for today’s race meeting.

The Berkshire course became a local vaccination hub earlier this month, vaccinating around 1,200 people a day.

Newbury went ahead as planned at Newbury on Wednesday

There had been a backlash on Twitter following the news that racing would go ahead and jabs stopped for a day, with one user saying: “Outrageous. How is this justified?”

Another said: “So horse racing more important than vaccinations?”

But when the NHS first approached Newbury about becoming a centre for vaccinations, it was agreed that vaccinations would be temporarily halted so the course could stage their two fixtures scheduled before the end of March.

And Downland General Practice, who serve the area surrounding Newbury racecourse, came out in defence of the track.

They said on Twitter: “There has been a bit of negative press about the vaccination site having to close for racing.

“Just need to say it really is not a problem and @NewburyRacing
are bending over backwards to help us run a smooth centre. Closure tomorrow will have NO impact.

“We can’t vaccinate if we don’t have vaccine. We took the 1170 doses we had delivered yesterday and rather than hold clinics today and tomorrow we did all 1170 vaccinations today. We get no more vaccine until Thursday #notrocketscience.”

In a statement, the racecourse said: “We have made provision for it so it is not hampering the vaccination process.

“The vaccination centre opened last week and the NHS was made aware of the race day.

“We have an abundance of space but a decision was made we would not operate both the race day and the vaccination centre this week but that is being reviewed so both may be open in the future.

“Together with West Berks NHS, the local GP surgeries and the host of volunteers, we remain completely committed to supporting the local community and surrounding area during this challenging time.”

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