Coronavirus vaccines are now available from these community pharmacies in South Tyneside
Life-saving covid jabs are now being administered at South Tyneside pharmacies as the borough continues to battle the coronavirus.
More than 152,000 doses of covid vaccines have gone into patients’ arms in South Tyneside and the vaccination programme is now expanding to offer patients the chance to get their jabs at a local pharmacy.
Initially, the vaccine will be available at Jarrow's Edinburgh Road Pharmacy and Whiteleas Pharmacy in South Shields, offered to everyone aged 30 and over, as well as to people in earlier priority groups.
It comes after the Shields Gazette and its sister titles launched the Shot in the Arm campaign, calling for the UK’s network of community pharmacies to be used for vaccinations to boost capacity and bring the jabs closer to people’s homes.
It also follows the successes of the ‘Pharmy Army’ – a team of pharmacists who gave up their weekends to administer covid jabs to people who are housebound and their carers, who may not otherwise have been able to get vaccinated.
Julie Topping, owner and pharmacist at Whiteleas Pharmacy, said it was “amazing” to be involved.
“After being involved with the housebound vaccinations and seeing the response and confidence increase among the public, we were keen to do our bit,” she said.
"We are already vaccinating 270+ patients a week - an amazing achievement for a small community pharmacy.
"Regular pharmacy services are still available to the public as the Covid-19 vaccinations have been accommodated for separately, with vaccine appointments extending to out of hours and weekends.
"The response has been amazing – everyone has expressed a huge thanks.
"I am really proud of the pharmacy and the team – we'll be able to look back after everything is back to normal and say we've been a part of this and done our bit."
Matt Brown, executive director of operations at the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, praised the efforts of everyone involved in the borough’s vaccine campaign, and thanked the pharmacies involved in this latest initiative.
He said: "From vaccinators and volunteers to practice and hospital staff working hard to keep normal services operating, so many people have rallied round to help save lives here in South Tyneside.
"Our pharmacists are already a key part of our covid response, giving vaccines to 2,500 housebound people and house-tied carers – as well as extending opening hours and offering community testing.
"It’s an immense effort and I'd like to thank our pharmacists and the many other staff who are still working so incredibly hard to keep us all safe."
To be vaccinated at a community pharmacy, you must be registered with a GP and in an eligible group, details of which can be found on the NHS website.
When booking their vaccine appointment via the NHS online booking service or 119, patients are offered the option of receiving a vaccine at a large vaccine centre or a community pharmacy if there are appointments available. They can also choose to wait to be invited to a local NHS centre.
To find out more about the Covid-19 vaccinations and how to book your appointment, please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.