NEW: Our covid-19 vaccination plan is working

Newcastle’s city-wide vaccination programme is “perhaps the slickest vaccination operation in the UK”.

That’s according to yesterday’s Guardian newspaper report on all 31 GP practices in the city working together.

You can read the article on the Guardian website here.

The large-scale, collaborative approach and coordination was praised for its speed and efficiency – with 30 patients being vaccinated every 5 minutes.

Progress so far

In just over 5 weeks since the programme started, more than 33,000 Newcastle residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Newcastle is the first city in the country to have vaccinated all eligible care home residents – the top priority group.

Across the city, 84% of people over 80 have received a first dose – nearly 10,000 in total.

For JHP patients, over 90% of the over 80s have been vaccinated, along with 91% of registered health care workers. Nearly 3 in every 4 people aged 75-79 have either even vaccinated or invited.

Priority Groups

People are being invited to be vaccinated in order of their likelihood to get seriously ill from COVID-19. The top 4 groups are:

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  • All those 75 years of age and over
  • All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)

You will be contacted when it’s your turn

We want to remind patients that when it is your turn to be vaccinated, you will be contacted either by us or the NHS directly. Please do not contact us in advance. We appreciate people want to get vaccinated. We have an agreed approach, which is working.

In the meantime, please continue to protect yourself and those around you by practising social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing masks.

Update: Covid-19 Vaccination Progress

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.

Patience

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.

Central Venues

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.