Freemasons in Barry have opened the doors of their hall to local medical practices to help in the mass vaccination of Barry residents against Covid-19
The Vale Group Practice is a group of four local surgeries, and it started vaccinating its patients at Barry Masonic Hall on Wednesday 21 January.
Seventy-seven vaccines were administered on the first day of operation, and delivery will be ramped up over the coming weeks, until all patients requiring inoculation receive their two injections.
The handover of Barry Masonic Hall to the Vale Group Practice is initially for two days a week, increasing if needed when additional vaccine distribution expands.
The Barry Freemasons have also extended the invitation to use the hall to all other GP practices in the Barry area for the remaining days of the week so that the hall can be fully utilised for the vaccination programme.
Allen Oliver, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Barry Masonic Hall said: 'The hall is not currently being used for Freemasons’ activities, weddings, parties and the like, and so makes perfect sense for it to be used as a centre for the vaccination of the residents of Barry.
'It’s vitally important that the local GP practices can set up in a suitably spacious and accessible building, and Barry Masonic Hall fits this requirement perfectly. The hall has been set up with spaced seating, screened vaccination areas and plenty of ventilation. A one-way system is also in place to ensure the safety and comfort of every visitor.'
Oliver went on to say: 'The hall will be available, without charge, to the local GP surgeries for as long as is feasible, and we’re pleased that the local Freemasons are at the heart of the community and with this simple gesture we are again able to help where it is most needed, even though our fundraising and donations have not been so prolific since April 2020.'
Rob Baron, NHS manager at the Vale Group Practice said: 'The Vale Group Practice is very grateful to Barry Masonic Hall for agreeing to allow us to use the hall to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations to our patients. It provides a safe environment for the delivery of vaccinations and the feedback from patients that attended for their vaccine on Wednesday was extremely positive. We are awaiting confirmation from Cardiff & Vale Health Board on delivery schedules moving forward, and we hope to be able to continue using the Masonic Hall to deliver the vaccines. It allows us to use our surgery buildings to continue seeing unwell patients and keeping our vulnerable patients away from the surgery will help reduce the likelihood of them contracting Covid-19.'