Yesterday – 14th January 2021 – we can confirm that residents who were well enough from the 31 residential and nursing homes in North Tyneside have received their 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

This has taken just two weeks to achieve at a local level, and was possible using a combination of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.

This was a considerable team effort from different health care professionals including our TyneHealth Frailty Nurse Practitioners and support workers, admin staff and GPs, District Nurses and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) staff.  It has involved community services and primary care working together across all four Primary Care Networks (PCNs), to ensure the most vulnerable people were vaccinated as soon as possible.

This group of people were identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) as the most at-risk group from COVID-19 early in the pandemic. 

Dr Susannah Thompson, Medical Director of TyneHealth said: 

I am thrilled to confirm that vaccination teams have given 1st doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the residents who were well enough, and majority of staff in all care homes for older adults, across North Tyneside.  

It has been a pleasure to see such amazing teamwork and I would like to praise everyone who has dedicated their time and effort to making this a success. 

Our highest priority was to find a way for the Covid-19 vaccine to be administered as quickly and as safely as possible to this most vulnerable group.

This just shows how collaborative working and cooperation at a local level has been so successful in North Tyneside for our Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Rollout.”

As soon as NHS England’s national regulators approved the complex cold-chain process, splitting of vaccine packs and safe delivery within care homes for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, our teams started vaccinating this highest priority group on the 30th December 2020. The subsequent approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has allowed our teams to accelerate the vaccination rollout further, as supply arrives to the borough.

Our dedicated teams have been working evenings and weekends over Christmas and New Year and into 2021 to deliver the vaccine to care homes, in tandem with the continued Covid-19 Vaccination Programme rollout across our local vaccination services in Longbenton, North Shields (including Whitely Bay), and Wallsend sites.

Now that the regional data across England has been released, we can see that the COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been particularly successful in the North East region, and this reflects what our teams are seeing and reporting on the ground in North Tyneside. 

The rollout has been coordinated across NHS health providersand the social care sector, in partnership with care home staff, North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as well as involving a huge number of volunteers coordinated by VODA.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: 

“I am delighted that all the residents who were well enough, and the majority of staff in all of our care homes for older adults in the borough have had their first dose of the vaccine, in just a short few weeks. I must thank our health partners, our council teams and all the volunteers for their incredible hard work.

We still have a long way to go, but together we are making big inroads in the fight against coronavirus.

Our wonderful NHS is doing a remarkable job to deliver this extensive vaccination programme, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care. I must urge everyone to continue to follow government and public health advice to ensure we protect after our loved ones and ease pressures on our health services.”

Please do not contact your GP about the vaccine or turn up at any of the vaccination sites without an appointment; Primary Care teams are very busy at the moment and doing this could prevent a patient who needs our help from getting through. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

More information is available on our Covid-19 Information Hub including our continually updated FAQs that have been developed with our community partners at HealthWatch, North Tyneside Council, VODA and the CCG.

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