THOUSANDS of people will receive the Covid vaccination each week as the largest centre in Dorset opens on Monday.

Preparation at the BIC started in December and the vaccination centre will open on Monday.

Officials stated, at capacity, it will vaccinate 1,300 people a day, and more than 9,000 a week.

Anna Chainey, Covid-19 service manager at the Dorset Healthcare Trust, said: “People have been going above and beyond to make this happen. This is the positive end of Covid.

“Everything else with Covid is in not a very nice place and these large vaccination sites are really positive, but it is a marathon not a sprint, we are not going to get everyone vaccinated in the next three weeks.

“For this programme in its entirety, the workforce of all the different elements of vaccinations across Dorset, we’ve had over 1,000 expressions of interest from staff to help out with that.

“I feel really excited about this, it feels very real. It’s really exciting to be part of this and I feel privileged to be able to do this for our population in Dorset.”

Patients will be contacted via a letter which will advise them to book their slot online or over the phone.

They are then advised to turn up 10 minutes prior to their appointment where they will queue in the foyer of the BIC before speaking to a clinical assessor.

Once all the relevant checks are complete, they will be vaccinated in one of six stations, split across three pods.

Their next stop will be to the resting area, where chairs are spaced out for people to sit for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

Medical director Dr Faisil Sethi said: “We are going to get to capacity in the next two to three weeks so things will change at a pace in the next two to three weeks.

“The important thing is for people to wait to be contacted. We are going to focus on doing 12 hours a day, seven days a week and really gather some pace into it.

“This has essentially been built from ground up in about three weeks. A lot of that is people doing what they would ordinarily do, and going well beyond what they would ordinarily do.

“This is about people who have experienced the pandemic like all of us and had lots of anxieties and fears and this clearly is our way out of this and that’s going to take us months, but this is the start of that.

“Once we’re fully up and running, we would expect to be getting through 9,000 vaccines per week.

“I have been absolutely blown over by what everyone has done. People have gone completely above and beyond.

More than 400 staff members will be employed to help the running of the centre, which will run from 8am until 8pm, Monday to Sunday.

Dawn Dawson, Dorset Healthcare’s director of nursing, added: “We’re anticipating, by the end of February, we should get through those priority groups.

“After the last 10 months where the NHS staff have worked really hard, to be part of something now that is a way out of the pandemic is massively exciting and it’s quite an emotional thing to be part of.

“We’re really experienced in providing vaccination services, including flu jabs and school immunisations, and we will use that skill to give our patients a positive, safe and efficient experience at the vaccination centre.”