Northumberland health chiefs say 2.5million covid vaccines have been administered in North East and Yorkshire

More than 2.5million people across the North East and Yorkshire have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, say health chiefs.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:13 pm
Retired doctor James Mitchell receives his Covid-19 vaccine in Berwick.

Medical chiefs gave an update on the vaccination programme as part of a wider discussion on health issues in the region on March 11.

In Northumberland specifically 113, 574 people have been vaccinated with a first dose, amounting to 42% of the eligible population.

Of that number 74,333 of those are over 65 years of age meaning 93% of over 65’s have had their first jab.

The vaccine roll out for all those over 50 is deadlined for the 15th April.

Rachael Mitcheson, service director transformation and integrated care at NHS Northumberland’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the push model for supply of the vaccine to primary vaccination sites continues to make planning ahead difficult.

She was speaking at at Northumberland County Council’s Health and Well-being Board today.

In response, Dr Jane Lothian said the vaccination sites “have no control over what their deliveries are”.

“It’s not that the GPs and the mass vaccination sites are sitting there on fridges full of vaccines,” she said.

“It’s coming in and being put in people’s arms in a matter of hours. ”

Age UK was brought in by the CCG to assist in transporting individuals unable to get to vaccination appointments.

The CCG said evidence is now beginning to emerge of a significant reduction in hospital admissions and deaths among the most elderly patients.

It cautioned, however, that it will take three-to-five months to see meaningful reductions in community transmission as this needs 70-80% of the population to be immunised against Covid-19.

The fact that only 77% of care home staff had been vaccinated caused some concern among councillors.

Cnllr Jeff Watson, portfolio holder for healthy lives, asked Racheal Mitcheson if it was a problem services had not been able to get to grips with.

Ms Mitcheson said the figure of 77% was for the North East and Yorkshire as a whole and not reflective of the numbers for Northumberland specifically.

She said the number of care home workers vaccinated is higher in Northumberland than in surrounding areas, but that she would look into the issue.

Dr Lothian spoke on the high level of vaccine resistance among younger people who make up a large part of the care home work force.

She went on to reassure the board everything was being done to try and persuade them to be vaccinated.

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