Queues outside of Sunderland's Nightingale Hospital as Covid vaccinations begin
The Nightingale North East hospital site, located off the A19 near Nissan, is now the second mass vaccination facility in the North East.
Like the vaccination hub already in operation at Newcastle’s Centre For Life, the hospital will be capable of delivering thousands of jabs each week – scaling up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.
The vaccination roll out at the Nightingale Hospital kicked off on Monday, January 25 with NHS staff administering the Covid-19 vaccine to mainly health and social care staff.
On Tuesday, January 26 the hospital will open its doors to more patients who have been invited to book a jab at the centre.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service staff will also be helping to support the vaccination service as it launches.
Early on Monday morning an orderly queue of people could be seen standing outside the facility as they waited for their vaccine appointment.
The car park was busy, with cars being directed as they came into the facility and security staff could be seen at the entrance to the hospital.
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."