POWYS’ third mass vaccination site has opened in Builth Wells this week.

The site, at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, has already been acting as a mobile test centre throughout the pandemic, but has now become fully operational and acts in the same capacity as sites in Newtown and Bronllys.

The centre will be open seven days a week from 8am to 8.30pm. It comes in a week that health minister Vaughan Gething announced Wales' coronavirus vaccination plan – which includes having all eligible adults vaccinated by the autumn.

To help achieve this, there will be 35 vaccination centres operational across Wales in the coming weeks. It is believed 22 are up and running so far.

Steve Hughson, CEO of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, posted a behind the scenes video on his Twitter page on Wednesday afternoon, providing an insight into the scale of the operation on the showground.

“We’ve worked really hard to create this vaccination centre on the showground, despite the challenges we face as a society,” said Mr Hughson.

“We’re still stepping forward to make sure we can help with support of military, volunteers and all people. When this gets fully up and running it’s going to make a great impact on this pandemic, which we need to get rid of before we can get events back on the showground.”

Speaking of the new vaccination plan, Mr Gething said: “We have more than 250,0000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine which we expect to use by mid-February with more coming at the end of this month.

“The Pfizer vaccine is mainly being given in mass vaccination centres to frontline health care staff.

“We are also vaccinating care home residents and staff and people over the age of 80 until the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine becomes more available in much large volumes.

“When we started vaccinating in December, we had just seven centres, one in each of our health boards.

“Today we have 22 and that will increase to 35 in the next couple of weeks.”

PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations), meanwhile, are now recruiting volunteers to help with the additional workload expected at the Builth site.

Volunteers need to be able to offer a minimum of one to two-hour shifts at a time. Basic training and PPE will be provided.

Anyone able to support the mass-vaccination programme in Powys can register on powys.volunteering-wales.net (search for Powys mass vaccination wayfinder marshals). For more information, contact PAVO on 01597 822191 or email volunteering@pavo.org.uk.