Third Large Vaccination Centre for the region opens at Durham’s Arnison Centre

The new vaccination centre is opening the the Arnison Centre in Durham Credit: PA

A third Large Vaccination Centre for the region opens at Durham’s Arnison Centre today (February 22), to help the NHS vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

It joins the vaccination centre at Newcastle’s Centre for Life and the NHS Nightingale Hospital North East, in Sunderland.

Over 500,000

people have been vaccinated by the NHS in the first four priority cohorts

All people aged over 80 now vaccinated as well as nine out of ten older care home residents. Large numbers of front line health and social care staff have received their first vaccine too.

The vast majority of people in the 70-75 age groups have now also been offered vaccination as well as those who are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable.

Watch Helen Ford's report on our NHS here:

A significant proportion of vaccination has been carried out by local vaccination services run by local GP practices working in primary care networks, alongside hospitals hubs, community pharmacy and community health services.

Over 80

local vaccination sites across the region

The Durham Vaccination site will be known as the Arnison Vaccination Centre and it is based at Boldon House, Pity Me, Wheatlands Way, Durham DH1 5FA, which is owned by Northumbrian Water. 

The Arnison shopping and retail location was chosen for its accessible location and good public transport links.


are seen a day at each vaccination centre

People are invited to attend Large Vaccination Centres by the National Booking Service run by NHS England.

Dr Stewart Findlay, Primary Care Clinical Director for the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria, said: “Already the NHS across our region has done and continues to do an amazing job getting as many people as possible vaccinated, as quickly as possible.”

Opening up the third vaccination centre in the region helps us to reach even more people as the programme continues to expand, giving even more people the opportunity to have their vaccine.

Dr Stewart Findlay

He continued, “We have received significant support from local partners to help us ensure this site is ready and that we can provide a good experience for patients and staff. In particular our grateful thanks to staff at Durham County Council, Northumbrian Water, public transport providers, local police, the Arnison local businesses and of course our ever-growing army of volunteers and staff.”

“We are constantly delighted by how much people want to help us with the vaccination efforts, we know it’s the way we can all have hope that we can all get back to normal and see the end of this awful situation.”

The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those who experts have agreed will benefit from having it the most.

Since Monday 15th February, people in cohorts 5 and 6 are being invited by the NHS to have their vaccine.

  • Cohort 5 - all those 65 years of age and over

  • Cohort 6 - all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

The NHS says local GP vaccination services are focusing initially on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care.

People in cohort 6 (aged 65 and over) may also receive a letter from the national booking service inviting them to book an appointment.

Dr Findlay continued: “We know people are very keen to have their vaccine but remember it might be more convenient to wait for your local vaccination service run by GPs to get in touch. People should not be worried there is enough vaccine supply to make sure that everyone who wants to have a vaccination can do so.”

Should somebody aged 65 to 69 want to wait to be called by their local GP vaccination service or who have already received the jab they do not need to respond to their national booking service invitation. It will not be possible to use the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service if you haven’t received an invitation letter. Doing so risks someone who has not been able to get through and book their appointment.

It will also not be possible to get a vaccine at a Vaccination Centre or Community Pharmacy without an appointment. Doing so risks disrupting the work of NHS staff in protecting those at highest risk.

Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health at Durham County Council, said: “It’s fantastic we now have a vaccination centre in County Durham with the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,000 people per day.

The Covid-19 vaccine is helping to reduce rates of serious illness and save lives, which is why it’s vital everyone who is invited for a vaccine takes up the opportunity.

Amanda Healy, Durham County Council

“Please remember that once you have received your vaccine it will take a few weeks for your body to build up protection. It’s also important to be mindful of the fact that the vaccine only protects you and you could still transmit the virus to people around you. It’s important we all continue to follow social distancing guidance, practice good hand hygiene and wear a face covering when required.

“I would like to thank everyone for their efforts to control the spread of coronavirus. I know it has meant many sacrifices and I hope the opening of this large vaccination centre offers hope of brighter times to come.”