Healthwatch Northumberland has published the following advice on the Covid-19 vaccination programme:
The Department of Health and Social Care advises everyone who is offered the Covid-19 vaccination to take it, as the best way of avoiding potential serious illness from the virus and helping to ease the current situation in the UK.
As Covid-19 vaccinations in Northumberland are rolled out for high priority groups, here are some ways you can be prepared ahead of your turn.
Make sure you are registered with a GP practice and that they have an up-to-date contact number for you or someone who they can speak to on your behalf – the first people to be called for the vaccine will be contacted by telephone, sometimes at short notice – as new batches of the vaccine arrive in Northumberland.
You won’t be forgotten
GP practices in Northumberland will be inviting people for their vaccination in strict order of age within each priority group. Your GP knows which priority group you are in and will not forget about you. Please be patient and wait to be contacted about your vaccination rather than call your surgery.
Listen out for the phone
In the first wave people will probably be contacted by telephone or text, so listen out for a call, and remember that the GP surgery’s number may be withheld when they call you. Check your answerphone regularly for messages, if you have one. Keep an eye on the post too in case you receive a letter inviting you for a vaccination at the North East hub at The Centre for Life, Newcastle.
Vaccines are being given at designated vaccination centres across the county. Make plans now for how you will get to the centre when you are asked to attend, including plans for travel at different times of the day. Please note that the vaccination centre you are asked to attend may not be the one closest to your home.
Be on time
It’s really important that you arrive on time for your vaccination appointment to keep waiting times to a minimum. However, don’t arrive too early if you can help it as you won’t be seen earlier than your appointment time. If you have your NHS number, please bring it with you. This can be found on letters sent to you by your GP or by a hospital, or on your prescription.
The government has asked GP practices to concentrate on giving as many patients as possible the first Covid-19 vaccination, as this approach will prevent more deaths and hospitalisations than vaccinating fewer people with two doses. Everyone will get their second vaccination but it will just take a little bit longer.
Your GP is there for you
GP surgeries are still open for business alongside the vaccination programme. If you are worried about a symptom or have an urgent issue, please don’t put off contacting your surgery for help and advice.
As the situation changes we will update this information so you know how best to prepare for your vaccination. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates on Covid-19 vaccinations in Northumberland.
Vaccination Centres in Northumberland are currently in Berwick, Alnwick, Amble, Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington, Ponteland and Hexh
· 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)
More details on the vaccination programme from the NHS
Why do I have to wait for my Covid-19 vaccine? From the UK government
For more information visit:
Covid-19 Vaccinations - Be Prepared - Healthwatch Northumberland