HEALTH officials are reassuring patients that they will be able to get their Covid-19 vaccination locally if they prefer not to travel to a mass vaccination site.

GPs in County Durham have stressed that patients invited to book a vaccination appointment at The Centre for Life, Newcastle, – the North-East’s designated mass vaccination site – can choose to wait until they are contacted by their local GP.

NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), chief officer, Dr Stewart Findlay said: “Letters from NHS England have been sent to people aged 80 or older who live within a 45-minute drive of the vaccination site in Newcastle, inviting them to book their COVID-19 vaccination.

“If people have received this letter but would prefer to have their vaccination locally, then they can choose to wait until they are contacted by their local GP service.

“We know this may cause confusion for many vulnerable people and their families but please be assured, anyone registered with a County Durham GP practice will be contacted and invited to book their COVID-19 vaccine at a local GP vaccination hub.”

County Durham has 13 vaccination hubs across the county, with groups of GP practices working together in Primary Care Networks (PCNs), delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

People who are are unable to leave their home to travel to where they are offered an appointment, and cannot arrange for someone to help them, will be contacted by their local GP services to arrange a vaccination with a GP or District Nurse.

“If people receive a letter inviting them to the mass vaccination site and they have already booked an appointment with their local GP service then they should just ignore the letter,” added Dr Findlay.

“There is nothing they need to do except to turn up at their scheduled GP appointment.”