Farewell and thanks to dedicated medical teams and volunteers who stepped up to vaccinate Rugby

They will be finishing tomorrow (Thursday) - but the service will continue at the same location

Dedicated medical teams and volunteers who stepped up to vaccinate thousands of people in Rugby will finish vaccinating at Locke House tomorrow (Thursday) - but the service will continue at the same location.

Locke House has been Rugby's local vaccination centre since it was one of the first sites to open in December 2020.

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Since then they have given more than 165,000 vaccines - more doses than any other site in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Dedicated medical teams and volunteers who stepped up to vaccinate thousands of people in Rugby will finish vaccinating at Locke House tomorrow (Thursday) - but the service will continue at the same location.

But the team will be passing its duties over to the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust tomorrow so the doctors can focus their general practice services.

Dr Norman Byrd is the head of Rugby Health, a group of 12 GP surgeries in Rugby which helped set up the vaccination centre in Locke House on Woodside Park.

He said: "Locke House has been a remarkable community-led project.

"Volunteers have come from all walks of life.

"Organisations aren't policies and buildings, they are its staff. Our volunteers are been truly remarkable, I am so proud to have been a part of our local vaccination service.

Addressing the volunteers, he said: "I can't thank you all enough. Without your contributions we wouldn't have been able to dream of a return to normality.

"We all know that pre-COVID normality may never quite exist again, but the vaccinations have allowed us all to move forwards."

Reflecting back on the success of the vaccine roll-out at Locke House, Dr Byrd added: "This was exhausting and required huge input from the practices.

"After several months we moved to a hybrid volunteer model managed spectacularly well by Gita Natarajan, whose work at Locke House contributed to her being awarded a BEM in the New Year's honours list.

"The contract until now has been held by Rugby Health. We decided not to renew the contract so that we can focus our efforts and delivering general practice services.

"COVID19 vaccination will, however, continue at Locke House. Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust will hold the contract from April 1."

Dr Byrd said that with rates beginning to rise and immunity appearing to be waning, it is likely that there will be an autumn booster programme.

Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT) will deliver the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme from the established vaccination site at Locke House in Rugby. CWPT will also be vaccinating care home residents in Rugby and those people who are housebound. CWPT has been working with Rugby Health, the GP-led organisation that previously delivered the programme at Locke House to ensure a smooth handover of responsibility. Locke House remains one of the most successful vaccination sites in Warwickshire, delivering over 160,000 Covid-19 vaccinations since the programme started in December 2020.”