THE vaccination centre at the Bournemouth International Centre is set to close in the autumn as the first phases of the programme near completion.

The county’s largest vaccination centre is planned to close in the next stage of Dorset’s vaccination programme – though no date has been set.

Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the vaccination centre at the BIC, has confirmed they are now looking for new locations ahead of the BIC closure.

The BIC is currently being used as a vaccine site on a temporary fixed-term arrangement.

The NHS said the BIC vaccination service has been a huge success since it opened on January 18.

More than 124,000 jabs have been administered at the centre which is still taking appointments and walk-ins.

A spokesperson for the Dorset vaccination programme at Dorset Healthcare said: “With the first phases of the vaccination programme nearing completion we are now planning how we deliver the next phase.

“The BIC has been a fantastic venue for the high volume of people we needed to vaccinate quickly but it was always a fixed term arrangement. We are now scoping out the venues we will need as we go into the autumn and prepare for phase three of the programme.

"Around 98 per cent of those who have responded to a survey about having their vaccination there say they had a positive experience. The area used for the centre is clearly separated from the rest of the venue so this has not caused any issues since other events have resumed.”

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood, who has volunteered at the vaccine centre, said:

"It's been a real privilege to participate in the vaccine roll-out and thank you to all the volunteers and NHS staff that have stepped forward to make the BIC centre such an incredible machine to help Dorset tackle Covid.

"As a hub it would be great to see the concept continue and where I'd like to see it is somewhere in the Boscombe Sovereign Centre which would be easily accessible and allow us to continue the good work, particularly if we're now going to be moving into younger age groups to be vaccinated."

The Bournemouth vaccination centre has given more than 124,000 vaccinations since it opened in January and offers both booked and walk-in appointments, most recently for 16-17 year-olds. Around 600 staff have worked at the centre over that time with around 1,000 volunteers supporting them.