The Covid-19 vaccination rollout is the largest vaccine programme in the history of the NHS, and we are making good progress here in North Tyneside having delivered more than 63,000 doses of vaccine through our local GP-led vaccination services.
The NHS is delivering the vaccine across the UK through two systems: local GP-led vaccination centres provided by groups of GP practices (Primary Care Networks) and the national booking system which allows people to book to pharmacy-led sites and mass vaccination centres across the North East region.
All four Primary Care Networks (PCNs) representing all the GP Practices in in North Tyneside run three local vaccination centres at the Oxford Centre in Longbenton, The Parks in North Shields (also covering Whitley Bay) and the Langdale Centre in Wallsend.
Our local GP-led services in North Tyneside and the National Booking Service run in tandem with each other, but are separately organised. The local GP-led services are contacting people for vaccination by text or phone call; whereas the national service will invite people by letter.
Phase One of the Covid Vaccination Programme, inviting Priority Groups 1 – 9 (down to >50 year old age group) is now underway across England, and if you are eligible but haven’t received a letter yet, you can also book on-line with the following national booking link. This link will only allow you to book to nationally run mass vaccination centres and pharmacy hubs, not to our GP-led sites in North Tyneside.
From this week it will also be possible to book into a NEW pharmacy run service at Monkseaton Methodist Church (MMC) in North Tyneside on the national booking system, but only when vaccine supply allows for appointments to be uploaded to this service.
Our local GP-led teams are working incredibly hard to vaccinate everyone as fast as possible, and we are prioritising patients based on strict national guidelines for age and clinical risk level, according to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance.
GPs are currently focused on contacting people in Priority Group 6 with underlying health conditions. We are making good progress and are currently on track to have contacted the majority of Priority Group 6 for vaccination by the end of this week.
However vaccine supply is very lumpy and the UK Government has warned that supply will be significantly reduced from the end of March and throughout the month of April.
The local GP-led vaccination program is functioning well, and more nationally run mass sites and pharmacy hubs are opening all the time. Please don’t be worried if you or a family member are in one of the priority groups but have not heard from us yet. You might know someone who has already been invited, but that doesn’t mean that you are a lower priority.
During March and April our GP-led sites will continue to focus on delivering first doses of vaccine to the most vulnerable in our communities, as well as ensuring second doses are delivered on time.
If you cannot travel or prefer to be vaccinated with a local service there may be a longer wait, but your GP will contact you when supplies and deliveries are confirmed and allow for vaccine clinics to run across North Tyneside.
We very much understand that you may feel anxious while waiting to be invited for a vaccine. However you do not need to contact your GP surgery for an appointment; you will be contacted by text or phone when it is your turn.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE NHS
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives, even after you have received your 1st and 2nd dose of vaccine – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you are out, until government advice and restrictions change.
- Please don’t contact your GP practice to seek a vaccine, they will contact you
- When you are invited, please be sure to attend both your appointments with the service you originally booked with (this will be the same for 1st and 2nd doses) Please only cancel and rearrange your appointment if absolutely necessary and using the information contained in your email confirmation or text from our local services (or letter if the national service.)
- Please attend your appointment on your own. If you need assistance, please bring only one person with you. If we have more people attending, it is difficult for us to maintain social distancing.