We wanted to give patients an update on the COVID-19 vaccination programme and add some clarity and reassurance.
As you might have seen, there is a city-wide programme coordinated by Newcastle GP Services (NGPS) in partnership with us and all other GP practices. All vaccines – both the Pfizer and Oxford variants – will be given through this programme.
At the time of writing, we’re pleased to say that 2,364 people across the city were have been vaccinated in the first 2 weeks.
The city-wide approach means we can make sure people in the highest risk groups can be vaccinated first. You can read about the priority groups for vaccination here.
We completely understand that people are anxious to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. It’s a big step toward life returning to normal, but we would urge people to be patient and wait to be contacted.
At the moment, we are taking a huge volume of calls from patients about when they will be vaccinated. We can only offer the information we have previously set out. We are not able to adjust or change the order patients will be invited to be vaccinated.
We do appreciate people are eager, but the sheer number of calls is stopping other patients from getting through.
Priority Groups and Progress
As mentioned, there is a nationally agreed priority order which covers those most vulnerable to the virus – the elderly, those with long term conditions and care home residents.
Based on this, around 4,000 of the 13,000 patients registered with JHP are in these priority groups.
Currently, we can take up 40-80 slots available across the city each week. While we are hopeful this will increase as more vaccine supplies become available and capacity goes up, it is hopefully a useful indicator of the scale of the programme.
Large central venues are being used as vaccination sites – the Racecourse in Gosforth and the Eagles Arena on Scotswood Road. They are easier to staff and keep social distanced.
We are not a vaccination site – either at 17 or 200 Osborne Road. You may have read in the local news that the Oxford vaccine would be given to GP practices to distribute, but this is not currently the case here.
Should this change, we will of course let you know.
Are you a frontline worker?
If you’re a frontline worker who has been asked to contact us for ‘coding’, can we ask you to please use Salvie, our online system?
You can access Salvie here. If you’re not already registered, you can quickly make an account and send a request. Please make sure to say that you need to be coded and let us know your employer and role.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.