Extra vaccination sites to boost surge efforts on North Tyneside

Video report by Tom Barton

More than 1,000 people have been checked so far for the so-called Indian variant of Covid-19, as surge testing began on North Tyneside.

Additional vaccination services in North Tyneside are being provided following a rise in case numbers and growing concerns around increased cases of the Indian variant. No appointment is needed to receive a test at the North Shields and Wallsend centres.

An additional site was set up in Shiremoor between the Aldi and Costa Café on Monday, May 24.

All sites will be open from 10am - 4pm.

Everyone aged over 32 can now book an appointment and people who have not yet had their first vaccine are urged to book as soon as they can, with thousands of appointments available in community locations across North Tyneside.

New eligible age groups are also being announced regularly.

North Tyneside GP, Dr George Rae, explains the aim of surge testing in the area

COVID-19 cases in North Tyneside have risen from 22 to 55 per 100,000 over the last two weeks and more cases of the variant, first identified in India, have been found in parts of the borough.

To date around 40 confirmed cases of the variant have been identified and public health measures put in place.

This figure includes people Test and Trace has identified through enhanced contact tracing who were already self-isolating.  

As more people come forward as a result of the call for enhanced testing, case numbers are expected to increase across the borough.

As a result, the surge testing and additional Covid-19 vaccination capacity is being provided in direct response to protect the public.

Professor Neil Watson, who runs the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria said: “Now is the time to get vaccinated if you are in an eligible group because the sooner you're vaccinated, the sooner you’ll begin to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community.

"We also know that vaccinating as many people as possible should reduce the levels of local infections too.

 “The NHS in North Tyneside has made thousands of appointments available each week via community pharmacies, while our local GPs concentrate on bringing second dose appointments forward from 12 weeks to 8 weeks in-line with the new guidance for people over 50.

In North Tyneside there are seven local pharmacies offering vaccination with four further community locations at The Village Hotel, The Collingwood Centre, St Paul's House and Monkseaton Methodist Church.

A sign for a test centre in North Tyneside

The NHS in North Tyneside has already vaccinated significant numbers of the eligible population through local primary care vaccination services, who have focused on those groups who are the most vulnerable to the consequences of contracting COVID-19.

However, there are still people aged over 50, those with underlying health conditions, health and social care workers and carers who have not yet taken up their invitation and can still do so.

People over 50, those with underlying health conditions, health and social care workers and carers who have had their first dose and not yet had their second will be contacted either by their GP practice or by the NHS National Booking Service to bring forward their jab.

Since Saturday, the council has deployed two mobile testing units in North Shields and Wallsend town centres.

Residents and those who work or learn in North Tyneside are encouraged to make use of these PCR test sites, if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

The guidance for anyone who does have symptoms of COVID-19 remains the same:  stay at home, self-isolate and book a test online or by calling 119.

The existing test sites at The Parks Leisure Centre in North Shields and the Coronation Street car park in Wallsend should continue to only be used by those with symptoms.

This enhanced testing is in addition to lateral flow tests which the government encourage everyone to do twice a week.

Wendy Burke, North Tyneside Director of Public Health said: “Covid can affect anyone at any age and we know people can suffer serious complications if they become infected. 

"Even if you think your risk is low, there’s still a chance you can catch it and pass it on to people around you, even if you have no symptoms. 

 “Please if you are offered an appointment for vaccination or asked to make one please do so.”

This week there will be extra vaccination services available from Tuesday, May 25, at the following locations:

  • Tuesday 9am – 6pm at Shiremoor Northumberland Park, next to Costa and Aldi, NE27 0FG

  • Wednesday 9am – 6pm at Shiremoor Northumberland Park, next to Costa and Aldi, NE27 0FG

  • Thursday 3pm – 6pm North Shields town centre

  • Friday 9am – 6pm – North Shields town centre

  • Saturday 9am – 6pm – Location to be confirmed

It is hoped that between 200 and 300 extra people will be vaccinated at mobile units each day. 

A list of North Tyneside vaccination sites available via the national booking system:

  • Burradon Pharmacy - 33/34 Front Street, Camperdown, Burradon - NE12 5UT

  • Wideopen Pharmacy - 42 Park View, Wideopen - NE13 6LH

  • Burn Terrace Pharmacy - 55-57 Burn Terrace, Willington Quay, Wallsend - NE28 7BJ

  • Seaton Burn Pharmacy - 38 Bridge Street, Seaton Burn - NE13 6EN

  • Pharmacy2U, Village Hotel, 10 The Silverlink North - NE27 0BY

  • Pharmacy2U - Unit 13-14 Collingwood Centre, Preston North Road, Tynemouth - NE29 9QR

  • Welcome Health Pharmacy - 205 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay - NE26 2SY

  • Dennis Pharmacy - 9-13 Tynemouth Road, Willington Quay, NE28 0AA

  • Forest Hall Pharmacy - 99 Station Road, Forest Hall, NE12 7HS

  • St Paul's House (Willington Quay Pharmacy) - Unit 3, St Paul's House, Eldon Street, Willington Quay - NE28 6NQ

  • Monkseaton Methodist Church (Lobley Hill Pharmacy) - 37 Front Street, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay - NE25 8AQ

Also available:

  • The Centre for Life – Newcastle

  • Nightingale North East – Washington