Everything you need to know about the North East's fourth mass vaccination centre at Darlington Arena
The North East’s fourth mass vaccination centre will open at Darlington Arena on Monday, March 1.
The Darlington Arena Vaccination Centre on Neasham Road is the region’s latest large scale vaccination centre which will add more capacity to help the NHS vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
It joins Newcastle’s Centre for Life, Sunderland’s NHS Nightingale Hospital North East and the Arnison Centre, Durham, in complementing local GP led vaccination services.
Other large centres will open in other parts of the region in the coming weeks.
Professor Neil Watson, Chief Operating Officer for the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria, said: “Already the NHS across our region has done and continues to do an amazing job getting as many people as possible vaccinated, as quickly as possible.
“Opening up the fourth vaccination centre in the region helps us to reach even more people as the programme continues to expand, giving even more people the opportunity to have their vaccine.”
Already the NHS in the region has vaccinated over 904,000 people, with all people aged over 80 now vaccinated, nine out of ten older care home residents plus large numbers of front line health and social care staff all receiving their first vaccine.
The vast majority of people in the 70-75 age groups have now also been offered vaccination as well as those who are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable.
Penny Spring, Director of Public Health at Darlington Borough Council, said: “The Covid-19 vaccine is helping to reduce rates of serious illness and save lives, which is why it’s vital everyone who is invited for a vaccine takes up the opportunity.
“Please remember that once you have received your vaccine it will take three weeks for your body to build up protection – so it is vital to continue following national guidelines even after your jab to protect those around you.
“I would like to thank everyone for their efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.
"I know it has meant many sacrifices and I hope the opening of this large vaccination centre offers hope of brighter times to come.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the Darlington Arena Vaccination Centre:
What vaccine is on offer at the centre?
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be used in the centre, there will not be a choice of vaccine.
The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those who experts have agreed will benefit from having it the most.
Since Monday, February 15, people aged 65 and over and individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk are being invited by the NHS to have their vaccine.
When will the centre be open?
The centre will open on Monday, March 1 and will be running 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
It will be run by clinical staff, people who have been trained to become vaccinators, administrative staff and a range of volunteers.
The centre has the capacity to see up to 1,000 patients a day.
How do I book my vaccine?
People will be invited to attend Large Vaccination Centres by the National Booking Service run by NHS England.
They will receive a letter and are invited to book either on-line or by calling 119 free of charge between 7am and 11pm – only people invited to book can do so.
People may also receive a text message or letter from the team at Feethams House inviting them to use their local booking system.
Large vaccination centres offer an alternative choice for people to local GP vaccination services.
People may wish to wait until they receive an invitation from their own GP practice as this is likely to be closer to where they live and might be more convenient.
Should somebody aged 65 to 69 want to wait to be called by their local GP vaccination service or if they have already received the jab, they do not need to respond to their invitation.
How do I get there?
Clear signposting is provided on main roads into the centre and marked as ‘Darlington Arena Vaccination Centre.’
People driving to the centre are asked to only arrive no more than 15 minutes before their appointment.
There is a large free car park at Darlington Arena is used for all vaccination centre patients and a drop off service onsite for family members and taxis.
For people travelling by public transport, the nearest bus stops are called ‘Brankin Drive’ and are located on Brankin Road, 270m from the main access into the arena.
The Brankin Drive bus stops are served by services 13A and 13B – 13B being the most direct/quickest from town and the 13A being the most direct/quickest to town.
Both services operate every 30 minutes.
The timetables can be found at: https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/find-a-service/13b-from-darlington-flannels-to-darlington-northgate
Residents in the Tees Valley that are eligible for the TeesFlex service operated by Stagecoach are able to book this service to access the arena site for a vaccination appointment.