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 32 can now book an appointment and people who are eligible but 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 targeting communities this week through pop up mobile vaccination services and testing.
COVID-19 cases in North Tyneside have risen from 22 to 55 per 100,000 over the last two weeks and more cases of the variant, first identified in India, have been found in parts of the borough.
To date around 40 confirmed cases of the variant have been identified and public health measures put in place. This figure includes people Test and Trace has identified through enhanced contact tracing who were already self-isolating.
As more people come forward as a result of the call for enhanced testing, case numbers are expected to increase across the borough.
As a result, the surge testing and additional COVID-19 vaccination capacity is being provided in direct response to protect the public.
Surge testing in North Tyneside got underway this weekend with almost 1,000 people tested over the first weekend.
On Monday May 24 a third site has opened in Shiremoor, next to Aldi and Costa, to add to the sites in North Shields and Wallsend town centres.
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.
This week there will be extra vaccination services offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for over 40s only. They will be available from Tuesday May 25 at the following locations:
- Tuesday 25 May, 9am–6pm at Shiremoor Northumberland Park, next to Costa and Aldi, NE27 0FG
- Wednesday 26 May, 9am–6pm at Shiremoor Northumberland Park, next to Costa and Aldi, NE27 0FG
- Thursday 27 May, 4pm–6pm at Northumberland Square, North Shields
- Friday 28 May, 9am–6pm at Northumberland Square, North Shields
- Saturday 29 May, 10am–5pm at Morrisons car-park, Killingworth
It is hoped that between 200 and 300 extra people will be vaccinated at these mobile units each day.
You do not need an appointment to book in, however if you have your NHS number that would be helpful. You can find this on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results and hospital referral letters.
Professor Neil Watson, who runs the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria said: “These additional vaccination services will add even more capacity to vaccinate people in the heart of communities across North Tyneside.”
“The COVID-19 variant originally identified in India is circulating in North Tyneside, so the best way to protect yourself and your family is to take up your vaccination appointment when offered or come forward if you are over 32 and have not yet booked yours.
“These new vaccination services in North Tyneside will complement the thousands of appointments in 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.
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 can be booked 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.
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.
“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 age and circumstances.