And they’re off! Ripon racecourse joins UK’s Covid vaccine push

Mood of quiet gratitude and relief among those receiving jabs in North Yorkshire venue’s bar

In the second world war, country houses were requisitioned and turned into hospitals, schools and command headquarters. Eighty years on, a rather more eclectic selection of premises have been taken over in the push to vaccinate the UK’s most vulnerable people against Covid, including Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and the Manchester City and Plymouth Argyle football grounds.

In the North Yorkshire cathedral city of Ripon it is the racecourse which has become a vaccination clinic. Six hundred patients a day are being vaccinated in enclosures created in the racecourse bar, a surreal experience for those used to sipping a pint of Theakston’s there, betting on horses rather than microbiology.

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