We can now confirm that the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in North Tyneside has reached another huge milestone with the 50,000th vaccination administered locally.

Our three local, GP-led, vaccination services in North Tyneside are now continuing to invite all those aged 16 – 64 years in priority group six to have their first dose of vaccine: which includes all adults who are clinically vulnerable (see JCVI priority group definitions / Government website here); unpaid carers, who can register for an assessment with The North Tyneside Carers’ Centre here; and ALL adults with learning disabilities (read more about this here). 

The four Primary Care Networks (PCNs) representing all GP Practices in North Tyneside, North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and TyneHealth GP Federation have worked together with the Local Authority (LA) and Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) to ensure a smooth roll out of the vaccination programme in the borough. The vaccine is predominately being delivered at our three local vaccination sites based in Wallsend, North Shields (covering Whitley Bay and North Shields residents) and Longbenton.  District Nurses, Frailty Nurses, GPs, Paramedics, Pharmacists and other allied health professionals have also played an essential role in the vaccination programme in visiting housebound residents and all adult residential and nursing homes to administer vaccinations.

Our teams have been vaccinating North Tyneside residents for less than three months, with the first vaccination being delivered from the North West North Tyneside Primary Care Network (PCN) at our Longbenton site on the 15th December; we have achieved so much in this time. It has been a truly collaborative effort across all sectors, with our dedicated teams of frontline NHS clinical staff, an army of North Tyneside volunteers, as well as all the managers, administration and reception staff working across Primary Care who continue to pull out all the stops to ensure residents receive their vaccination in a smooth and timely manner.

Priority six is one of the biggest cohorts of people in the vaccination programme so far. Whilst good progress is being made in contacting this group, we are reliant on national vaccine supply to run clinics at all of our local sites. We therefore ask that residents in this group are patient and wait for their GP to contact them; you will be contacted soon if you haven’t been already.

All our local GP-led sites are also now in the process of setting up clinics for the second dose of vaccine that are due at 10-12 weeks. We would ask that you only cancel and rebook your 2nd dose appointment if absolutely necessary, using the information in your email confirmation or letter / text provided by your GP, and that you give as much notice as possible to keep disruption to our local services and vaccine wastage to the absolute minimum.

Anyone who’s second dose was rescheduled from the original 3 weeks interval, to the increased 10-12 week interval, will receive a letter informing them of their 2nd dose appointment before the 10-12 week interval is due. If you haven’t had a letter informing you of your appointment one week before your second dose is due, please contact your GP.

As of Monday 1st March, those aged 60 to 64 – who are priority seven for the vaccine – are being contacted by the National booking service to receive their vaccine. This is because nationally figures now show that 90% of those in the higher age bracket (aged 65-69) have already received their first dose.  If you are over 60 years old, have received a letter asking you to shield (i.e. are extremely clinically vulnerable) or are an eligible frontline health and social care worker you can book at one of the national vaccination centres using this on-line link to the Government run national booking service.

Please bear in mind, the national booking service only offers appointments at the mass vaccination centres in the NE region, such as Newcastle’s Centre for Life or NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland. A fourth site in the North East region opened this week at Darlington Arena whilst a third mass site in Durham at the Arnison Centre Retail Park opened last month. Occasionally the system offers sites further afield but we have been told in general they should only be offering appointments in a 45 mile radius of your home address.

Those who cannot, or don’t wish to travel, can wait for an appointment at one of the GP-led sites in North Tyneside; please wait for your GP to contact you. We are running as many vaccine clinics locally as vaccine supplies allow, but this may mean you have a slightly longer wait than booking with the national vaccine service above.

The success of the COVID Vaccine Programme is down to the continued hard work of all our partners: the four Primary Care Networks (PCNs) of GP Practices working together across the borough; North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); Local Authority and Public Health teams; regional and local hospital colleagues and hubs; our partner agencies across North Tyneside such as VODA, The Carers’ Centre and Healthwatch; the amazing volunteers who are out in all weathers, ensuring a smooth and efficient vaccination process and friendly welcome across all our sites.

Accessibility for ALL is a high priority for all our teams running our three North Tyneside sites, and we are continually gathering feedback to improve the service offered and learn from residents, staff and volunteers; thank you everyone!

For more information on the pandemic and our response please see our Covid-19 Information Hub while specific information about the vaccine roll out – including our FAQs – can be found here

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