VACCINE jabs which can be stored at household fridge temperatures will arrive at Teesside GP surgeries later this week.
The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine was launched in the UK on Monday – and can be kept at fridge temperatures for easier distribution.
Now Teesside health chiefs have confirmed surgeries are expecting deliveries of the new jab tomorrow (Thursday) as a mass national rollout gets underway.
The Greater Middlesbrough NHS Primary Care Network confirmed it would take delivery of 500 of the new AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday for its eight practices and surgeries.
The network added: “As the AstraZeneca vaccines have less strict transportation issues, we will prioritise these for people in care homes who are physically unable to travel to vaccination centres.”
Over 80s, front-line health and social care workers, care home residents and their carers are top of the list to be vaccinated first.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that as many people as possible on its priority list should be offered the first jab.
This has seen some second doses of the Pfizer vaccines postponed for the time being – with the follow-up jab now coming 11 to 12 weeks after the first.
An NHS spokeswoman said: “The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, JCVI and UK Chief Medical Officers have updated the second dose timing guidance which the NHS has to follow to increase the number of vulnerable people protected against covid over the next three months – potentially saving thousands of lives.”