A third Large Vaccination Centre for the region opened today at Durham’s Arnison Centre adding additional capacity to help the NHS vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

Dr Stewart Findlay, the Primary Care Director for the vaccination programme said, “We were thrilled to be able to vaccinate the Bishop of Durham today as we opened the Arnison Centre in Durham. This centre provides yet another vaccination service building on the excellent work carried out by our Primary Care colleagues and hospital hubs. “

Stewart Findlay added, “ Nothing we do in our careers will save as many lives as this.”

The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham who was enthroned seven years ago today in Durham Cathedral said:  “It was very well organised and smooth and straightforward.”

“This vaccination gives us real hope as a community of finding our way out of the pandemic.”

He went on to remind people, “Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time. I will certainly be returning for my second dose without hesitation.”

Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health at Durham County Council, said: “It’s brilliant to see this new Large Vaccination Centre up and running in County Durham. Not only will it increase capacity, allowing us to vaccinate hundreds more people each day, but it will offer residents a choice of where to receive their vaccine.

“There was such a positive atmosphere at the centre today, with members of the public excited to be receiving their first dose and staff and volunteers across the NHS, local authority, emergency services, Armed Forces and more working together to ensure everything ran smoothly.

“It’s vital everyone who is offered the vaccine takes up the opportunity, as the more people who are vaccinated, the less people will become seriously ill.

“It’s also imperative that we also continue to follow social distancing guidance, practice good hand hygiene and wear a face covering when required. Bringing down the infection rate  is key to saving lives, and I would like to thank you for your efforts so far.”

We know that people are excited to receive their vaccine. We are experiencing high numbers of calls into GP practices and would ask people to please stop calling their GP surgery enquiring when they will get their vaccine.

  • we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in this cold weather;
  • and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.