First Covid vaccine to be delivered in Northumberland today as GP surgeries begin to roll out programme

This morning will see the first patients in Northumberland get the Covid-19 vaccine as the programme begins to be rolled out across the county’s GP surgeries.

By Fiona Thompson
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 7:00 am

The immunisation programme will be launched across its six Primary Care Networks (PCN), which bring together its 40 GPs surgeries o help deliver the best care for their patients.

They are Blyth, Cramlington and Seaton Valley, West, which covers Prudoe, Hexham, Corbridge and Haydon Bridge and their surrounding areas, Wansbeck, Valens and Well Up North, a collaboration of 12 GP practices covering Well Close, Union Brae and Norham, Cheviot, Glendale, Belford, Alnwick, Rothbury, Widdrington, Coquet, Felton, Gas House Lane and Greystoke.

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The Covid-19 vaccine will start to be given to patients in Northumberland from today - but people are warned they must have an invite to get the immunisation.

The first injections will be delivered to the initial group of patients today, Tuesday, December 15, a week after the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was given in the UK, with practices across the country starting to take delivery of doses for those aged in their 80s and some health care workers.

While the initial jabs were given in hospital hubs – with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust leading on the deployment programme across the North East – it will be expanded in phases, with more practices and pharmacies to join in coming months.

The NHS has stressed people will be invited to attend an appointment to get the vaccine, which will be delivered in two doses 21 days apart.

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and our teams are about to embark on an enormous challenge, delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the community whilst also delivering the expanded flu vaccine programme and the usual care and services our patients rely on us for.

“There are also logistical challenges but general practice has an excellent track record of delivering mass vaccination programmes, and we want to use this experience to help protect people from Covid-19 and start getting life back to normal again.

"We won’t be vaccinating everyone all at once - it will be a relatively small number at first - but as long as there is supply, GPs and our teams at selected sites will start vaccinating people this week, starting with our most vulnerable patients.

“Patients will be contacted and invited for vaccination - we would urge them not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination, we will contact them."

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