Health leaders urge public to get Covid vaccine
Residents are being urged to get their Covid vaccination to help protect against the Indian variant.
Additional vaccination services in North Tyneside are being provided following a rise in case numbers and growing concerns around increased cases of the variant.
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.
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.
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 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.
Already the NHS in North Tyneside has vaccinated significant numbers of the eligible population.
From Saturday, the council will deploy two mobile testing units, open without an appointment between 10am and 4pm at Wallsend Forum, behind the Anson pub, and in Bedford Street, North Shields.
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.
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.”
To book an appointment visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.