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COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Because this is a new illness it has been able to spread quickly, which is why the Government and the NHS have taken significant steps to combat it.
As patients and citizens, it is vital that we all follow the advice and do our bit to help minimise the spread of the illness.
We’ll update this page with general information and specific changes here at the practice. Please bookmark or save this page for future reference.
To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:
- wash hands – keep washing your hands regularly
- cover face – wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
- make space – stay at least a metre away from people not in your household
If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.
The Covid-19 vaccination is the largest vaccine programme in the history of the NHS, and we are making rapid progress here in Newcastle.
The NHS is delivering the vaccine through community vaccination sites at Newcastle Racecourse and Newcastle Eagles Basketball Centre. These sites are managed by Newcastle GP Services, the GP Federation for the city, working in partnership with Collaborative Newcastle. A further vaccination site at the Centre for Life is also providing vaccinations for residents in the city, and others across the North East region.
Our teams are working incredibly hard to vaccinate everyone as fast as possible, and we are prioritising patients based on strict national guidelines for age and clinical risk level.
Our local programme is now fully underway, but please don’t be worried if you or a family member are in the first priority group but have not heard from us yet. You might know someone who has already been invited, but that doesn’t mean that you are a lower priority.
During January and February many more people will be invited in, but this is only the start of a major vaccination programme and it will take some time to reach everyone. Our teams can only vaccinate as many patients as supplies allow.
We very much understand that you may feel anxious while waiting for your turn, but you do not need to contact your GP surgery as you will be contacted when it is your turn to have the vaccine.
You can help the NHS
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you are out.
- Please don’t contact the practice to seek a vaccine, you will be contacted either. by us or the NHS directly.
- When you are invited, please be sure to attend your booked appointments.
- high temperature
- new, continuous cough
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.
Use the NHS Coronavirus service by clicking here.
Links and Resources
COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ
You can’t – please wait until we have contacted you. A city-wide programme is being coordinated centrally.
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.
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
The vaccination programme is still at an early stage. The NHS is offering vaccinations to those at greatest risk from Covid-19 first, in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).
The first groups being offered vaccinations are care home residents and workers, frontline health and social care staff and people aged 80 and over. As more vaccine becomes available, we will be able to offer appointments to a wider group of people.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 HAVE NOT 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 NHS.uk/covid-vaccination 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 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.