North East's Nightingale Hospital to become a latest mass vaccination centre from tomorrow
NHS Nightingale Hospital North East, based on the International Automotive Manufacturing Park (IAMP), will be one of 30 new large-scale vaccination centres opening across the country this week to deliver life-saving Covid jabs.
The hospital first opened on May 5, 2020 in order to be used as an overflow facility if the number of Covid-19 patients became too high for the region’s hospitals to treat.
However the hospital – which is equipped with 460 ventilated beds – is yet to treat a patient and has remained on standby in case it is needed.
But as a new mass vaccination centre, the Nightingale Hospital will be capable of delivering thousands of jabs each week – scaling up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.
It will kick off by jabbing mainly health and social care staff on Monday, January 25, before opening its doors to more patients on Tuesday, January 26.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director said: “These new centres provide another option for people invited for their jabs, alongside the fantastic work of local GPs.
"Having visited many of these vaccine sites over the last few weeks, I’ve seen how much getting vaccinated means to those who are jabbed, their families and loved ones - and also to NHS staff who have to deal with the terrible consequences of this virus.”
The latest openings mean there will be a network of almost 50 mass vaccination centres across the country.
The Black Country Living Museum, where the BBC filmed the hit drama Peaky Blinders is also among the new vaccination sites.
More than a million letters have already been sent out inviting people to the 17 vaccination locations in operation, along with some community pharmacy sites, with hundreds of thousands more being sent to individuals over the age of 80 in the vicinity of these new vaccination sites.
People aged 75 and over are being invited to book a vaccination at the centres or one of more than 70 pharmacy services now operating across the country.
If they cannot or do not want to travel to a vaccination centre people can wait to be jabbed by a local GP service or hospital hub.
There are more than 1,000 GP services and more than 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.
NHS staff have already delivered more than 5.5 million doses of the vaccine.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive said: “The whole of the NHS has mobilised to set about delivering this huge covid vaccination programme, and as more supply becomes available, we're able to expand its reach and scale."
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock added: “While the vaccine can prevent severe disease, we do not know if it stops you from passing on the virus to others, and it takes time to develop immunity after a jab, so for now everyone must continue to stay at home to help bring down infections and protect the NHS.”