HEALTHCARE staff and volunteers at the BIC vaccination site have celebrated their successes, amid temporary closure.

Following the success of a clinic aimed at ethnic minority residents earlier this year, the team invited Gurkhas from Blandford Camp military base and Kuwaiti pilots training at Bournemouth International Airport to get their jabs at the Bournemouth International Centre.

As a result the clinic delivered another 150 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning the Dorset HealthCare-run service at the BIC has now vaccinated around 90,000 people since opening in January.

While vaccinations continue at other sites across Dorset, the service at the BIC has now closed for a number of weeks so that a cheerleading event can take place.

Belinda Andrews-Jones, Dorset HealthCare’s COVID-19 Vaccination programme manager, said: “Our last day before the temporary closure was fantastic. We successfully vaccinated a great number of people.

“We have continued to work closely with ambassadors from different communities to encourage uptake, running dedicated clinics for specific ethnic minority communities. We were delighted to be able to invite and vaccinate an extra 150 people on our last shift.”

The COVID-19 vaccination service at the BIC will resume on 19 July. In the meantime residents can continue to book their vaccinations on the NHS national booking service website for an alternative site.

Belinda said: “Although there’s a gap in giving vaccinations at the BIC, this will not delay COVID-19 vaccinations in Dorset, as it gives us the opportunity to hold more outreach clinics where we can vaccinate people in their local community.

“A big thank-you to all staff and volunteers to date that have been part of the large-scale vaccination site. We look forward to welcoming you back in July.”

Residents aged 18 to 39 can also ‘grab their jab’ at a pop-up clinic in Bournemouth on Saturday, July 3, from 11am to 3pm at St Luke’s Church, Winton.