Additional vaccination services in North Tyneside are being provided following a rise in case numbers and growing concerns around increased cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in India.
Everyone aged over 34 can now book an appointment and people who have not yet had their first vaccine are urged to book as soon as they can, with thousands of appointments available in community locations across North Tyneside.
New eligible age groups are also being announced regularly.
In addition, North Tyneside Council and NHS partners are planning to target communities in the next week through pop up mobile vaccination services and testing.
COVID-19 cases in North Tyneside have risen from 22 to 53 per 100,000 over the last week and more cases of the variant, first identified in India, have been found in parts of the borough.
There are currently 19 confirmed cases and it is likely that this number will increase.
As a result, the surge testing and additional COVID-19 vaccination capacity is being provided in direct response to protect the public.
Professor Neil Watson, who runs the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria said: “Now is the time to get vaccinated if you are in an eligible group because the sooner you're vaccinated, the sooner you’ll begin to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community.
“We also know that vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce the levels of local infections too.
“The NHS in North Tyneside has made thousands of appointments available each week via community pharmacies, while our local GPs concentrate on bringing second dose appointments forward from 12 weeks to 8 weeks in-line with the new guidance for people over 50.
“This is all to make sure we protect as many people as possible and save lives, so please do your bit to help beat COVID – take up your vaccination appointment when it’s offered.”
In North Tyneside there are seven local pharmacies offering vaccination with four further community locations at The Village Hotel, The Collingwood Centre, St Paul's House and Monkseaton Methodist Church.
In total these services offer a weekly capacity of 16,000 vaccinations which are booked via the via the NHS National Booking Service. Appointments are going fast with more dates being made available regularly – but please book in advance to help manage social distancing and prevent queues.
Already the NHS in North Tyneside has vaccinated significant numbers of the eligible population through local primary care vaccination services who have focused on those groups who are the most vulnerable to the consequences of contracting COVID-19.
While the uptake for vaccination in North Tyneside has been good so far, there are still people aged over 50, those with underlying health conditions, health and social care workers and carers who have not yet taken up their invitation and can still do so.
People over 50, those with underlying health conditions, health and social care workers and carers who have had their first dose and not yet had their second will be contacted either by their GP practice or by the NHS National Booking Service to bring forward their jab.
From Saturday 22 May, the council will deploy two mobile testing units in North Shields and Wallsend town centres From Saturday morning they will be open without an appointment between 10am and 4pm at Wallsend Forum, behind the Anson pub, and in Bedford Street, North Shields. A third site is now available in Shiremoor, next to the Aldi and Costa.
Residents and those who work or learn in North Tyneside are encouraged to make use of these PCR test sites, if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
The guidance for anyone who does have symptoms of COVID-19 remains the same: stay at home, self-isolate and book a test online or by calling 119.
The existing test sites at The Parks Leisure Centre in North Shields and the Coronation Street car park in Wallsend should continue to only be used by those with symptoms.
This enhanced testing is in addition to lateral flow tests which the government encourage everyone to do twice a week.
Wendy Burke, North Tyneside Director of Public Health said: “Covid can affect anyone at any age and we know people can suffer serious complications if they become infected. Even if you think your risk is low, there’s still a chance you can catch it and pass it on to people around you, even if you have no symptoms.
“Please if you are offered an appointment for vaccination or asked to make one please do so.”
There are over 15,000 weekly appointments available in North Tyneside via the NHS National Booking Service https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccinati... or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.
More appointments become available regularly so please keep checking back.
You will only be offered an appointment at a location using vaccine products that are recommended for your JCVI group.
North Tyneside vaccination sites available via the national booking system.
Burradon Pharmacy – 33/34 Front Street, Camperdown, Burradon - NE12 5UT
Wideopen Pharmacy - 42 Park View, Wideopen - NE13 6LH
Burn Terrace Pharmacy - 55-57 Burn Terrace, Willington Quay, Wallsend - NE28 7BJ
Seaton Burn Pharmacy - 38 Bridge Street, Seaton Burn - NE13 6EN
Pharmacy2U, Village Hotel, 10 The Silverlink North - NE27 0BY
Pharmacy2U - Unit 13-14 Collingwood Centre, Preston North Road, Tynemouth - NE29 9QR
Welcome Health Pharmacy - 205 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay - NE26 2SY
Dennis Pharmacy - 9-13 Tynemouth Road, Willington Quay, NE28 0AA
Forest Hall Pharmacy - 99 Station Road, Forest Hall, NE12 7HS
St Paul's House (Willington Quay Pharmacy) - Unit 3, St Paul's House, Eldon Street, Willington Quay - NE28 6NQ
Monkseaton Methodist Church (Lobley Hill Pharmacy) - 37 Front Street, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay - NE25 8AQ
The Centre for Life – Newcastle
Nightingale North East – Washington
Walk in services and a vaccination bus to target key communities are being planned, more details to follow next week.