Call for those aged 80 plus to book Covid jab at North East's mass vaccination centre
People aged 80 and over are being asked to book their Covid vaccination at the Centre For Life in Newcastle as the new NHS vaccination centre opens this week.
The centre is one of seven new large-scale vaccination hubs being opened across the country as the national vaccination programme ‘rapidly accelerates’.
It offers an alternative to GP and hospital services and can deliver thousands of vaccinations every week.
Letters are now being sent out to people aged 80 plus who live 30 to 45 minutes drive from one of the seven new sites, inviting them to book in their vaccination.
The letters explain how appointments can be made over the phone or online through the national booking service.
The first 130,000 letters began arriving on doormats this weekend with more than 500,000 following this week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “With Covid cases at record levels and a tragic number of people losing their lives to this vicious disease, we are once again asking everyone to stay at home in order to stop its spread and protect our NHS.
“Our plan is to vaccinate as many people as possible across the entire United Kingdom as quickly as we can.
"And with more than 1,000 vaccination sites across the country, including seven new mass vaccination centres, we will help protect hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people over the coming weeks as we accelerate towards offering 12 million people the jab in England by the middle of February.”
Nurses, doctors, physios and other NHS staff working nearby are also being jabbed at the centres, along with social care and care home workers.
Many more vaccination centres are expected to be up and running by the end of the month.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock a first dose of the vaccine has already been provided to more than 1.2 million people in England.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The coronavirus vaccination programme, the largest in NHS history, has got off to a strong start.
“With more vaccine supplies now coming on stream we are rapidly accelerating the programme and these large scale NHS vaccination centres are an important new way for people to get the life-saving jab, alongside our GP and hospital services.”