The first site in North Tyneside to deliver the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination is being prepared to begin vaccinations for over 80 year olds this week.

TyneHealth NHS GP Federation, working in partnership with North Tyneside GP Practices, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will deliver the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, starting with those over 80 years old who are registered with GPs in the North West of the borough, from Tuesday 15th December.

The first site in North Tyneside to be stood up to receive the vaccine by NHS England, will be going live this week in Longbenton. 

A dedicated team of NHS health professionals, aided by volunteers from across North Tyneside, will be working together to deliver the vaccine to the most vulnerable groups in this initial community phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme rollout.

L-R: Dr James Lunn (Clinical Director of North West North Tyneside Primary Care Network) & Dr Susannah Thompson (Medical Director of TyneHealth)

Residents aged over 80 years old who are registered with GP Practices in the North West of North Tyneside, who are able to visit the vaccination site, will be contacted by their GP and do not need to contact them.

This process will be repeated across the borough in the coming weeks as further sites are stood up.

It is expected that as more vaccines are released and approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that the rollout will increase in early 2021.

Dr Susannah Thompson, Medical Director of TyneHealth said:

We urge residents of North Tyneside not to contact their GP regarding the vaccine at this time, and to remain patient as the most vulnerable groups are contacted and invited for vaccination first, in a phased approach, as more sites become operational in the coming weeks across the borough in Longbenton, Wallsend, North Shields and Whitley Bay areas.” 

Dr Susannah Thompson, Medical Director of TyneHealth

The logistics of delivering the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine present unique challenges for community teams.

This is due to the need for extremely low temperature storage and the short period of time (3.5 days) the vaccine is usable once defrosted and diluted, as well as the need for a second dose of the vaccine after 21 days, for full protection.

Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, CBE, said:

“The rollout of the vaccine here in North Tyneside is fantastic news and the council is working with our partners so together we ensure it goes smoothly.

“When it is your turn to be invited you will be contacted by your GP – there’s nothing you need to do until then. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the NHS for caring for our communities and if we all stick together and follow the guidance for a little while longer we can ease the pressure on them over the winter months.”

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside

As more COVID-19 vaccines are approved by MHRA, this process will be sped up as logistics allow, with vaccination by GP invitation and appointment only, moving down through the priority groups outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). 

Care Home residents and staff remain the in the highest priority group and when a solution is found for safe storage and distribution of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine within care homes, or a more stable vaccine is approved, this group will be prioritised alongside over 80 year olds and frontline NHS and social care staff in high risk groups. 

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