Mass vaccination centre to come to Teesside 'in the near future' with Riverside Stadium touted as jab hub

The Riverside Stadium could become a mass vaccination hub, health bosses say. Credit: PA

A mass vaccination site has been lined up on Teesside "in the near future" - with the Riverside Stadium one of the sites being looked at.

Hospitals, two pharmacies and 13 GP sites are currently offering jabs across the Tees Valley.

But Middlesbrough councillors have heard how a large-scale jab hub - like those in Newcastle and Washington - will come to Teesside soon. 

An ambulance worker is immunised at the Newcastle Centre for Life vaccination Centre Credit: PA

Andrew Rowlands, from the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), told Tuesday's health scrutiny panel how a mass vaccination centre would come to the area "in the near future", although dates and times for the new hub have not been confirmed yet.  

When panellists pressed on where the site might be, South Tees Public Health director Mark Adams said the Riverside Stadium had been under consideration as a mass vaccine site for "some time in March". 

Mr Adams said: "I don't know if that's been confirmed or not. That's certainly one of the sites they were looking at."

Operationally, the NHS is in charge of delivering the country's vaccination programme. 

Stockton South MP Matt Vickers called for Teesside to get a mass jab hub last week as part of efforts to accelerate the roll out. 

In response, NHS England said it had plans for "a number" of large vaccination centres for the North East and North Cumbria - and Teesside "was included" in these plans. However, the body stopped short of confirming any sites. 

Pharmacies in Acklam and Fairfield, in Stockton, are issuing jabs at the moment.

Mr Rowlands told councillors more would be offering vaccines in the coming weeks and months once their applications were processed. 

The scrutiny panel was also told how 22,000 people in the top four priority groups had been offered jabs in Middlesbrough up to February 15. 

On February 14, the Government confirmed that it had reached its target of vaccinating 15 million people in the top four priority groups.


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