Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS staff become first in North East to receive Oxford vaccine
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is the first acute and community trust in the North East to start vaccinating its frontline staff at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital, after receiving the newly-approved Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine this morning, Monday, January 4.
Tracy Barnett, from its Community Stroke Team, was the first to be vaccinated in South Shields.
She said it had been a “privilege” to receive it following the work of the team behind it and offered her peace of mind.
She added: “It’s also providing a great morale boost to the staff, both clinical and non-clinical, who have been working tirelessly during this pandemic.
“I hope that it gives reassurance to our patients and their families that we are now receiving this vaccination and hopefully this is the start of returning to some form of normality.”
While today’s delivery is only the first batch to be received, its bosses say it marks an important step in the fight against coronavirus.
Trust Chief Executive, Ken Bremner, said he was delighted to start the New Year on a positive note and be the first acute and community trust in the region to receive the second vaccine.
"There is absolutely no doubt that the past few months have been tremendously difficult for our staff and we had a very busy run up to Christmas with the numbers of confirmed Covid-19 patients back to where they were in the first wave” he added.
“Our priority has always been to continue to provide excellent, safe patient care for everyone who needs it.
"At times this has been a challenge, but our teams have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic and news of the vaccine will no doubt come as a huge relief and give us all a little hope."
He added a plea for people to continue to following restrictions.
More than 650 clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline staff from the trust have already received the vaccination thanks to GP hubs in South Tyneside, Sunderland and Easington.