'It's such a relief' says Jarrow gran as pharmacist sisters make home visit to give her Covid jab

A gran who watched sisters grow up to become qualified pharmacists has spoken of her delight after they made a home visit to vaccinate her against Covid-19.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 2:06 pm

June Newton was visited by Laura Rowley and Louise Lyndon as part of a project to treat those unable to leave their house.

The team of 22 pharmacists have volunteered to work weekends to make the visits and are hoping to have called into all 1,500 people on the South Tyneside housebound register by Sunday, February 7, ahead of schedule.

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June Newton after getting her Covid vaccine from Louise Lydon, left and Laura Rowley, right.

June, 87, spent 28 years as a teleprinter operator at Reyrolles, ran her own wool shop on Wansbeck Road and helped out on the school bus service to Epinay School.

She said: “It’s such a relief to get my first vaccine – my sister Judith and her husband Joe got theirs at The Glen, but I couldn’t manage the trip, so the phone call was very welcome.

“I was over the moon to be visited by Louise and Laura, as they grew up just two doors down from me and I remember them as little girls.

June Newton and late husband Ray on their wedding day in 1956.

“Their late grandma Lily was a dear friend of mine and she would be so proud that they had given me my vaccine.”

Laura, who works with her sister at Jarrow’s Edinburgh Road Pharmacy, said: “When I heard we were vaccinating 1,500 housebound patients, it was just a number - but once you’re inside a patient’s home and they share their stories of how the pandemic has affected them, how much they miss their friends and family popping in, you see the person behind the number.

“It’s been a tremendous effort from so many pharmacists, and the uptake from patients has been very high.”

Laura Rowley is one of 22 pharmacists across South Tyneside who have been helping to deliver the vaccines to the housebound.

Around 500 ‘house-tied’ carers are also receiving vaccines through the scheme.

After the weekend, the team ensure those who were unable to get their jabs – such as those recovering from Covid – and the newly housebound are visited, ahead of the second round in 11 weeks’ time.

Anyone housebound or if someone is cared for and may have missed out are asked to contact their GP practice.

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