Dr Neil O’Brien, a GP in Chester-le-Street and accountable officer for NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“Our primary care teams have vaccinated hundreds of people aged over 80 this week and I am very grateful for the efforts of our local GP practices in pulling out all the stops to get this done in challenging circumstances.
“We want to make the best possible use of the limited vaccine supplies we have and make sure that the entire region receives a share of the supplies we have. We also wanted to avoid the potential of having to vaccinate patients on Christmas Day when the uptake of the vaccine may not have been as high for understandable reasons.
“I want to strongly reassure people that everyone who wants a vaccine will have the chance to get one.
“The patients who may have been earmarked to receive a vaccine next week will now be vaccinated when the programme re-commences week commencing 4th January.
“In the meantime the message to staff, patients and public remains the same: it’s really important that people wait to be invited – and the NHS will let people know when it is their turn to be called in for their vaccination.”