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The Bath & West Showground (pictured) in Somerset, Surrey’s Epsom Downs Racecourse, Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol and the Etihad Stadium campus in Manchester are among the major English venues to be transformed into Covid-19 mass vaccination centres.

News of the large scale immunisation roll out follows reports that the UK will have 800,000 doses of the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine next week.

The NHS is understood to have requested the assistance of the Ministry of Defence to carry out the immunisation programme, which is expected to involve at least 10 large UK event venues.

Operators of Bath & West Showground said that although some events can no longer take place, the announcement is a huge boost for the 240-acre venue in Shepton Mallet, used for Royal Bath & West Show, the Dairy Show and Grassland UK.

Once the centre is live, there will be a process of booking for vaccinations, which are set to take place through to Spring 2021.

Royal Bath & West of England Society CEO Rupert Cox said, “This is great news for Somerset and for the Bath & West. It is an honour to have been selected to host this major vaccination programme for the benefit of Somerset residents and we are working with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to make sure the logistics run as smoothly as possible.

“A successful nationwide vaccination campaign will also increase the chances of events being back up and running on the Showground and provide a much-needed confidence boost to everyone within the event industry.”