NEW: How the COVID-19 vaccination will be made available

Last week, the NHS’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination began. You might have seen that some of the first people in the country, and the world, to get the jab were Dr Hari and Ranjan Shukla at the RVI in Newcastle. 

As the process is now underway, we wanted to let people know how it will work. 

In Newcastle, the city-wide vaccination programme is being coordinated by Newcastle GP Services (NGPS) – the NHS Federation who work with us and all other practices across the city. 

What this means is that they are working through a pre-agreed list of priority groups and then giving us the go-ahead to invite the relevant patients. 

The vaccinations themselves are taking place at some large venues across the city rather than in GP practices. This means practices like JHP will be able to maintain our usual services, and the larger venues make it easier to keep to social distancing guidance. 

When it’s your turn to be invited for a COVID-19 vaccination, we will contact you.  

Please do not contact us, NGPS or any other NHS site asking to be put on the list. This will not change when you can get vaccinated and will make it harder for other people to contact us for help. 

Priority Groups

Not everyone can be vaccinated at once, and those at higher risk must be vaccinated first. That’s why a nationally-agreed set of priority groups has been set. 

The top priority is patients and staff in care homes, followed by those aged 80 or over along with Health and Social care workers. 

Next, it’s the 75+ group, and then people over 70 who are in high-risk groups. 

After that, it’s everyone over 65, and adults aged 18-65 who are in high-risk groups. 

It then goes in 5-year increments – those aged over 60, people 55 and over, and then everyone above 50 years of age. 

The final step will be to cover the rest of the population. 

The first page of priority groups to be vaccinated. Full information in the article text and at

Vaccine FAQ

Please wait until we have contacted you. A city-wide programme is being coordinated centrally. We are publishing regular updates on eligibility for each group. You can find all vaccine updates here.
At the time of writing, anyone aged 34 or old, or who will be 34 on 1st July, or who is a front liner health worker, carer or has an existing medical condition, can get a vaccine. Every week we publish an update with first and second dose statuses for all priority groups. You can find out weekly status updates here. When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be a letter or phone call, either from their GP or the national NHS. This letter will include all the information a person will need to book appointments. Some services are currently also phoning and texting patients to invite them in. We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we would ask people not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they are contacted.  The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first. Some people who have been vaccinated by their GP may still get an invitation to a vaccination centre like the Centre for Life. This letter can be disregarded if you have already had your vaccine from you GP. This letter is not an invitation for a second dose of your vaccine and remember you can wait for an invitation from your GP if you would prefer to be vaccinated there rather than at a mass vaccination centre.
No, we are not giving first, second or booster vaccine doses at either 17 or 200 Osborne Road.

Vaccines are available at a number of larger central sites in Newcastle, as well as pop-up locations, local pharmacies and from the vaccine bus which tours the city.
Please refer to our 6 step guide for booking your second vaccine online. You will only be able to do this when you have received a text message and link. Please wait for this to arrive before trying to book.
Patients in priority groups 1-9 - those 50 or over or with health conditions - now have the option to bring their second jab forward to 8 weeks rather than 12.

To do this, patients will need to book a second appointment via the national booking system at this link.

If you are unable to book through the system, please email Newcastle GP Services (NGPS), who are coordinating vaccinations across the city, at including your name, date of birth, contact number, date of first vaccine, original second dose booking appointment and type of first vaccine.

You will need to enter your details, including your NHS number and date of your first vaccination, then choose your preferred location and date.

Both The Centre for Life in Newcastle City Centre and Newcastle Eagles Basketball arena on Scotswood Road will be there as options if appointment slots are available. We have details on both venues in our vaccine FAQS. You can also choose an alternate venue if you prefer.

If you do reschedule your second dose, we ask that patients please let us know so we can cancel the original bookings and make the space available for someone else. You can tell us you’ve rearranged your second dose by sending us a request through Salvie.

Please note that bringing your second vaccination date forward is optional, and existing second dates will not be rescheduled automatically. If you decide not to rebook your second dose, please attend your second booking as originally arranged.

The Government has confirmed that the vast majority of Covid-19 vaccinations administered by hospital hubs and local vaccination services in the initial phase will be prioritised for those 80 years of age and over, frontline health and social care workers.

  Please be assured that everyone who wants to have the vaccine will be able to, but as you will appreciate a vaccination programme of this scale will take time to be rolled out.

  The NHS has also worked through distribution mechanisms to ensure that care home residents can now safely be offered a vaccination across the country.

  Following the priority groups outlined above, the next phase will include:  
  • all those 75 years of age and over
  • all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  • all those 65 years of age and over
  • all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • all those 60 years of age and over
  • all those 55 years of age and over
  • all those 50 years of age and over
  It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable deaths from Covid-19.

  Details of the national advice on priority groups for the vaccine is available on the Government website.
Sadly, there are criminals using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details.  The NHS will:
  • NEVER ask for payment - the vaccine is free
  • NEVER ask for your bank details
  • NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine 
  • NEVER ask you to prove your identity 
DOWNLOAD: COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud Guidance
Yes, all staff involved in delivering the vaccines will be wearing PPE, there will be a one-way system in place adhering to social distancing and all venues meet the requirements of Infection Prevention and Control.
Vaccination of patient-facing health and social care workers will be co-ordinated through your employer.

You will receive an invitation to attend for your vaccine as soon as possible and in line with national guidance on priority groups.
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any vaccines that the NHS provides will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy. People should be assured that whichever Covid-19 vaccine they get will be effective.
It’s given as an injection into your upper arm. A second dose will be scheduled in the future.
Yes. The NHS would not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it was safe to do so.   The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

  Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

  Thousands of people have been given a Covid-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.

  Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

Read about the approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK
Like all medicines, the vaccine can cause side effects. Most side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
No, several larger central venues across Newcastle are being used.

As each venue is confirmed, we'll add information below about how to get there and what to expect.
Yes, patients may attend their vaccination appointment with one relative/carer.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection. This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.

The latest evidence suggests the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine provides protection for most people for up to three months.

Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time which will be between 10 and 12 weeks from the first dose.

There is currently no evidence that the new strain will be resistant to the vaccines we have, so we are continuing to vaccinate people as normal.

Scientists are looking now in detail at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.
There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine currently in use. All ingredients are published in the healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here:

For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here:
The MHRA has advised that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19.

It is advised that if you have had Covid you need to wait four weeks before you can be vaccinated.
People with a history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated.

People who have ever had a severe allergy (anaphylaxis) where the cause was not identified should not have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine but can have the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine.
The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine. Pregnant women can discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks should they wish.

Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination.
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the vaccine until they have recovered.

The guidance says this should be at least four weeks after the start of symptoms or from the date of a positive Covid-19 test.
We will be vaccinating housebound patients as soon as we have completed vaccinating care home residents and staff. We will contact you to arrange an appointment but please be aware that we will vaccinate people in age order, i.e. starting with those aged 80 and over
The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.

  The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.

  If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
No. Vaccinations will only be available through the NHS for the moment. 

Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police 101 service and/or Local Trading Standards.
The latest information is available on the NHS website. The BBC has also produced some helpful information about the vaccines in five South Asian languages.
Newcastle Racecourse is in High Gosforth Park, NE3 5HP.

This walkthrough guide lets you know how to get there and what to do when you arrive.

Newcastle Racecourse Covid-19 Vaccination: Step by Step. UPDATED 7TH JANUARY 2021

On racedays, the system is slightly different - this guide shows you the steps to follow.

Newcastle Racecourse Covid-19 Vaccination: Raceday Step by Step.

Seven large scale mass vaccination sites have opened across England, including the Centre for Life in Newcastle.

People aged 80 and over, who live within a 30-45 minutes drive and have not yet been vaccinated, have been written to and invited to make an appointment.

This programme is running in parallel to the city-wide approach in Newcastle, coordinated by NGPS and us. The aim is to boost the number of people being vaccinated every week.

Here’s what to do if……

You HAVE received a letter and:
  • You haven’t yet been vaccinated or have an appointment booked – follow the instructions in the letter and book your appointment at or by calling 119.
  • You haven’t been vaccinated but transport to the mass site would be a problem – you can choose to wait until the local programme contacts you.
  • You have already been vaccinated (first or second dose) – ignore the letter.
  • You have already booked your vaccination through the local GP-led programme – ignore the letter.
You HAVE NOT received a letter and:
  • You have already had the first or second dose of the vaccine – you can ignore the letter
  • You haven’t been contacted by anyone about the COVID-19 vaccine – please wait. The local and mass vaccination programmes are working through the same priority groups. You will be contacted when you can get vaccinated. Please wait and do not contact your GP or the NHS about the vaccine unless you’re specifically asked to.
The Newcastle Eagles Community Arena is on Scotswood Road.

A walk through document shows you where to go when you arrive and everything else you need to know.

Getting your Covid Vaccine at Newcastle Eagles: Step by Step. UPDATED 7TH JANUARY 2021