Vaccine boost for North East as region's Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland launches as mass vaccination site

The launch of a second North East mass vaccination site is set to help make it easier for people to be protected against Covid-19 as it opens today in the region’s Nightingale hospital.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 25th January 2021, 1:00 am

It joins the Centre for Life in Newcastle as a mass immunisation site for the region and is one of 33 new locations to be launched, with the Black Country Living Museum, used as the backdrop to Peaky Blinders, and a former Ikea building in Stratford, London, among them.

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Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said its staff will be helping to support the vaccination service as it launches.

The Government has said the network of is large scale centres – which now stands at 50, with 1,300 NHS sites running in total – will make it possible to deliver the treatment to thousands of people a week.

People aged 75 and over are being invited to book a vaccination at the centres or one of more than 70 pharmacy services now operating across the country, as the NHS moves on to the second priority group after the over 80s.

Inside the North East's Nightingale hospital as it was first prepared ready for patients. Image by Getty.

Those who cannot or do not want to travel to a vaccination centre can wait for a visit to a GP service or hospital hub.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, is off to a strong start, with NHS staff working hard to accelerate delivery as more vaccines supplies come on stream, while caring for very large numbers of people who are seriously ill with Covid.

“I am enormously proud of their successful so far.

The Nightingale Hospital North East has been set up just a short distance from the A19 near Nissan.

"We are determined to save as many lives as possible by vaccinating the most vulnerable as swiftly as we can along with those who care for them.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "By opening up more vaccination sites we are making it easier for people to get their vaccine.”

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NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis.

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The hospital has been set up on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) off Downhill Lane.
The NHS Nightingale Hospital North East's Ward 3.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
NHS Nightingale Hospital North East was set up to take Covid patients, but will now be used as a mass vaccination site.