The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been accelerated and the next stage of England’s roadmap out of restrictions paused in response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, the Prime Minister confirmed this week.

Nationally, the successful vaccination programme is weakening the link between cases and hospitalisations, but the latest evidence shows that two doses are needed to provide effective protection against the Delta variant.

As a result second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to 8 weeks, this means all over 40s (who received a first dose by mid-May) will be offered a second dose by 19 July.

In North Tyneside, those aged 40+ who are now eligible for an earlier appointment can use the National Booking Service to cancel their originally 2nd vaccine appointment and rebook for an earlier date.

Details on how to cancel or reschedule appointments can be found here.

There is good availability in North Tyneside for appointments and up to 16 pharmacy-led are operating across the borough in addition to other larger vaccination centres and other pharmacy sites across the wider North East region.

By 19th July, all adults will have been offered a first dose – 2 weeks earlier than planned – and around two thirds of all adults will have been offered two doses of the vaccine.

As of Friday 18th June, anyone aged 18 and above is now eligible for the vaccine and can book via the National Booking Service on the NHS website.

For help on how to do this, click here.

In addition to the appointments available on the National Booking Service, North Tyneside residents can also use a number of walk in sites to get their 1st dose of the vaccine.

These sites will always offer you the most appropriate vaccine, under 40s in North Tyneside will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Walk in sites operate at various times/days in North Shields, Willington Quay, Monkseaton and at the Silverlink.

You can find more details on the walk in services and clinic times here.

Data suggests that the Delta variant is between 40% and 80% more transmissible than the Alpha variant and is rapidly driving up case numbers.

There are currently around 8,000 cases a day, the highest since the end of February, and these are increasing by around 64% each week.

Hospitalisations are starting to rise, with the average number of people admitted to hospital increasing in England by 50% per week.

Cases are expected to continue rising due to the transmissibility of the Delta variant, but with the acceleration of the vaccination programme hospitalisations are expected to stabilise.

Additional support is available for areas with high cases rates of the Delta variant, including surge testing, isolation support, and efforts to maximise vaccination uptake.

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