A Covid-19 vaccine centre has been set up on the Tyne and Wear Metro to provide a location with excellent transport links for people to get the jab.
And the new clinic, located at Haymarket Metro station in Newcastle city centre, was the back-drop for the launch of a new campaign to covid vaccine take up among under 30s.
The campaign, commissioned by the Integrated COVID-19 Hub North East, working with the regional vaccination programme, is also backed by Directors of Public Health across the region.
A Change of Heart campaign is based on research and insights from residents aged between 18-29 years-old, highlighting what is important to them in relation to the vaccination, and addresses their concerns. Its aim is to reassure residents that it’s never too late to change your mind and get vaccinated, whether that’s your first, second or booster jab.
The new vaccination pop-up is based at Haymarket Metro station runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of March, from 9am-7pm. It offers first, second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for over-16s.
There is no need to book an appointment, simply walk in. Please bring your NHS number, if possible.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said it was delighted to play its part in the fight against covid.
Station Delivery Manager at Nexus, Lynne Dickinson, said: “Haymarket Metro station is a brilliant location for a pop-up vaccine clinic and we’re delighted to play our part in encouraging people to get the jab.
“We have worked closely with the local NHS and our local authority partners to set this scheme up at our former travel shop at Haymarket. I encourage all customers and passers-by who haven’t had their jab yet to use this facility and help us to win this battle against Covid-19.”
Nearly a quarter of 18-29 year-olds (23.15%) in the region are currently unvaccinated according to the latest figures from the NHS vaccination programme (as of 1 Feb 2022). This is equivalent to around 106,000 individuals, the age group with the highest proportion of unvaccinated adults.
Neil Watson is the Chief Operating Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in the North East and North Cumbria. He said: “Many people - of all ages - have legitimate worries about being vaccinated and that is normal. Whether it’s fears about the effects of the vaccine on their fertility or while pregnant, worries about side effects, or not realising many countries won’t allow you to travel there without being vaccinated, there are many and varied reasons.
“The decision to get vaccinated is very personal, but we want people to know that it's ok to have a change of heart. My advice is to talk to friends, family and colleagues you trust, or find out more from your GP or the NHS website, and when you’re ready, we’re here for you.”
The pop-up clinic in Haymarket is one of many walk-in centres across the region. People should check the NHS website or their local council website for more information on dates and times in their area.
Prof Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health for Newcastle, said: “A full course of vaccination offers very good protection from Covid-19, including the Omicron variant which has led to record levels of cases.
“Being vaccinated reduces your chances of serious illness in every age group, and helps to protect your loved ones and others you come into contact with as well.
“We’ve worked with our partners to make vaccines as easy as possible to access and we’ve seen that city centre offers are very well used. I’m really pleased that Nexus have given their support to the vaccine rollout in Newcastle.”