Vaccine boost for North East as region's Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland launches as mass vaccination site
Sunderland’s Nightingale North East hospital site, off the A19 near Nissan, will see NHS staff start to deliver life-saving vaccinations from Monday, January 25.
It joins the Centre for Life in Newcastle as a mass immunisation site for the region and is one of 33 new locations to be launched, with the Black Country Living Museum, used as the backdrop to Peaky Blinders, and a former Ikea building in Stratford, London, among them.
The Wearside base has been set up to take 460 ventilated patients and opened in May – but is yet to take a Covid patient.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said its staff will be helping to support the vaccination service as it launches.
The Government has said the network of is large scale centres – which now stands at 50, with 1,300 NHS sites running in total – will make it possible to deliver the treatment to thousands of people a week.
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, as the NHS moves on to the second priority group after the over 80s.
Those who cannot or do not want to travel to a vaccination centre can wait for a visit to a GP service or hospital hub.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, is off to a strong start, with NHS staff working hard to accelerate delivery as more vaccines supplies come on stream, while caring for very large numbers of people who are seriously ill with Covid.
“I am enormously proud of their successful so far.
"We are determined to save as many lives as possible by vaccinating the most vulnerable as swiftly as we can along with those who care for them.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "By opening up more vaccination sites we are making it easier for people to get their vaccine.”