Vaccine Programme: Frequently Asked Questions

We understand lots of residents have questions or concerns about the vaccine itself, how the roll out programme is taking place and the practicalities of getting vaccinated. So we hope to have answered some of the main points that should help to alleviate any uncertainty or queries you might have.

Booking Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Anyone who is aged over 16 is now eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine. North Tyneside residents aged 18 and above (and those aged 17 who are within three months of their 18th birthday) can now book, cancel or change a COVID vaccine online via the National Booking Service, or by phoning 119.

The National Booking Service now provides access to sixteen pharmacy hubs which are operational across North Tyneside, plus larger vaccination centres, such as Newcastle’s Centre for Life and Sunderland’s Nightingale Hospital. Other pharmacy hubs and larger vaccination centres are also available across the North East region.

Anyone aged 16 or above can also attend the several pharmacy-led walk-in services that are operational in North Tyneside. Those aged 16 and 17 however must check that the site they wish to attend is able to vaccinate under 18s, please check this link which will be continuously updated.

Everyone aged 18 or over will also be able book their second dose at the shorter 8 weeks dose interval.

COVID-19 Status Certification

Please note the following:

  • GP practices CANNOT provide you with vaccination status certification.
  • Proof of vaccination status will be done via the existing NHS app.
  • You can download and register now on the app ahead of the system going live from Monday 17th May (17.05.21).
  • You can also call 119 if you need a letter for foreign travel.
  • We ask that you don’t call your GP practice about this, as our practices are unable to assist with this.

For details on how to download and use the NHS App with a smartphone or tablet visit the NHS website here.

For details on COVID-19 Status and why you might need it visit the UK Government website here.

  • Keeping COVID Safe

    Get tested when you have symptoms and take part in targeted asymptomatic testing and self isolate when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

    Wear a face covering in crowded areas such as a public transport or in supermarkets.

    Follow enhanced infection control measures – including mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing – throughout all GP practices and other community health settings to help protect staff, patients and visitors.

  • Read the full details
  • NHS Coronavirus Information

    COVID-19 has been the single greatest public health emergency in the history of the NHS.

    It’s important we all do our bit to support our healthcare system and our own communities.

    For the latest up-to-date medical advice about Covid-19 and more please visit the NHS website.

  • Read the latest guidance
  • Long COVID Support

    For some people, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “Long COVID”.

    Long COVID is very new and not much is known about it, which can make it hard for people to get care when they need it and for healthcare professionals to know how best to help people.

    At TyneHealth we’ve put together an online resource with information, support and advice for those experiencing Long COVID and are asking people to get on board with the hashtag #MyLongCovid on social media.

  • MyLongCovid

Access to GP Services During COVID-19

GP Practices have remained open during the whole of the COVID-19 pandemic and are busier than ever; with consultations figures in March showing that GPs are delivering 1 million appointments a week more than pre-pandemic levels.

A range of ways to speak to your GP now exist, from e-consults via practice websites, to video or phone consultations or face to face appointments which have always been offered to those that need to see someone, throughout the pandemic.

If you need to contact a GP, please do not go into the surgery in person. You can:

Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.

A phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you. You’ll be asked to visit the surgery for a face to face appointment and assessment if that is needed.

The safety of patients and our staff is hugely important and this may mean – depending on the GP Surgery building constraints and waiting room size – that practical arrangements are in place that look and feel different to what you are used to pre-COVID. This is to ensure that social distancing and infection control measures can be adhered to, for the safety of all.

Your GP surgery may be very busy at the moment, so you may have to wait longer than usual to speak to someone if it’s not urgent. Please #BeKind to our Primary Care teams who are working very hard in difficult circumstances to make sure you are seen by the right person at the right time.

You can find contact information about all of the North Tyneside GP Practices here.

COVID-19 NHS Testing Sites (for People with Symptoms)

If you have COVID-19 symptoms you can get tested at either of North Tyneside’s two walk-through testing sites in North Shields and Wallsend, between 8am-8pm, 7 days a week including weekends.

Appointments must be booked in advance and can be made at the following website or by calling 119.

More information about these testing sites are available on the North Tyneside Council website here.

  • Parks Leisure Centre Overflow Car Park, North Shields
  • Coronation Street Car Park, Wallsend

COVID-19 Testing (for People without Symptoms)

Everyone without symptoms will now be able to access twice-weekly rapid tests for coronavirus.

North Tyneside Council are leading the initiative. Everyone in the borough can access FREE lateral flow tests via a variety of ways in North Tyneside, as below. Please remember to record your result, even if it’s negative, either online here or by calling 119. This regular lateral flow testing should be continued alongside the current PCR surge testing availability.

  • Community testing in person and community collect at the Riverside Centre, North Shields: You can take a test at the site by booking an appointment here. Alternatively, you can pick up a box of tests to use at home from the centre. The centre is open seven days a week – you can find the opening times in the ‘details’ section here.
  • Pharmacy collect: Free tests can be picked up from pharmacies across North Tyneside. Over the coming weeks, more and more pharmacies will be signing up. NHS England’s site finder allows you to search pharmacies near you that offer pharmacy collect, see here.
  • NHS Test & Trace sites: The Parks Leisure Centre, in North Shields, and Coronation Street, Wallsend, operate as testing sites for people with symptoms in the morning, but are currently providing an afternoon collect option, where you can pick up a box of rapid tests to use at home. You don’t need to book to collect rapid tests, just turn up between 2.30pm and 8pm.
  • Education: Staff in all schools and students in secondary schools and colleges are already being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays.
  • Postal kits – LFD Direct: For people who can’t access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to your home. Order them here.
  • Workplace testing: Lots of employers across North Tyneside are offering testing, so if your employer offers workplace testing this is a great route for you to access rapid tests.

Key Facts

  • One in three people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms and are unaware that they might be spreading the infection – this testing can help identify these individuals. Once identified, we are able to trace contacts and prevent transmission of infection to others.
  • The asymptomatic testing is to identify positive cases and it’s really important that those taking part continue to follow the government lockdown and public health advice, even if they test negative.
  • Please note, the rapid tests are for people without symptoms. Testing remains available for everyone in the borough with symptoms. If you have symptoms (a continuous cough, high temperate or loss/change to your sense of smell or taste), you should self-isolate and book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

More information can be found on the North Tyneside Council website here.

#MyVaccineStoryNT

We have been capturing these moments to tell North Tyneside’s Vaccine Story – a moving digital record of the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.

From volunteers to medics, nurses, residents and more we have been sharing their stories on social media with the hashtag #MyVaccineStoryNT.

We will keep building and adding to this record as more stories come in and more people share their experiences with us.

NEW - Surge Testing (for People Without Symptoms)

Everyone who lives, works or learns in North Tyneside is being encouraged to get tested following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and detection of a variant first identified in India.

This is to help stop rising infection rates of COVID-19 in the borough and to understand where variants of concern are. These are the PCR tests which are sent off to a lab to be checked. PCR testing not only helps to identify someone who is positive, it helps monitor any new strains and identify any new patterns in virus behaviour.

As part of the Government’s surge testing offer in North Tyneside, Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) are open, 10am-4pm, in the following locations:

  • Wallsend Forum, behind the Anson pub
  • Bedford Street, North Shields
  • Shiremoor, next to Aldi and Costa

You can just turn up without an appointment – North Tyneside Council alongside local and national health teams are adding additional testing capacity including greater availability of PCR testing soon.

There will be new walk-in temporary test sites popping up across the borough, including one in the North West of the borough coming very soon.