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Magpies players support Covid-19 jab programme

Newcastle United players have urged people in the North East to have their Covid-19 vaccinations after receiving their own jabs as part of a special pop-up event organised by the Newcastle GP Services and Newcastle City Council.

Several first team players and staff members had their jabs on Wednesday morning as part of the event at the club's Training Centre in Benton.

The pop-up event is just one of many happening in Newcastle-upon-Tyne every day, with four specially converted 'vaccine buses' touring the city throughout the week, along with pop-up community services and walk-in appointments at larger vaccine centres.

Vaccines are available across the city, every day of the week with an updated list available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidvaccine.

The vaccine bus enables people to receive their vaccines close to their homes, offering a mix of drop-in sessions and invite only appointments. The invitations for these appointments are sent as SMS text messages by local GPs or the Council, while drop-in sessions are first come, first served. Those attending simply need to bring along ID to prove their age.

Newcastle United midfielder, Isaac Hayden, who visited the public vaccine bus service at St. James' Park last Sunday, said: "The NHS and Newcastle City Council are doing an amazing job in making it easy for people to have access to the vaccine.

"I went to the drop-in session when the vaccine bus was at St. James' Park recently and I was in and out so quickly. It was very well organised.

"I'd encourage anyone who hasn't had their jab, or who needs their second jab, to have it as soon as they can and protect themselves as we hopefully return to some normality."

Dr Brigid Joughin, the Clinical Director of the Outer West Primary Care Network, working with Newcastle GP Services to deliver vaccines across the city, said: "We're delighted to be able to help protect the staff and players of Newcastle United before the new season kicks off.

"It's a real priority for us to get more young men vaccinated in Newcastle, and it's great to see the team leading the way getting their vaccines today.

"We've also seen some of the players who have come to get their jabs at our vaccine bus at St James' Park. These clinics are open to the public, you don't need an appointment, and we'll be running more clinics there in the future, so there's plenty of opportunities to get your vaccine.

"We're urging everyone in Newcastle to help themselves and others to stay well and - importantly - be able to enjoy the football season!"

In addition to the vaccine buses, Newcastle City Council also has a dedicated Welfare and Wellbeing Team who are supporting residents to get their vaccines by organising transport to clinics or advice for people who may be hesitant to get a jab.

Professor Eugene Milne, Newcastle City Council Director of Public Health, said: "It is vital that all our residents are vaccinated and benefit from the protection they offer, as we enjoy more freedoms and fewer restrictions the virus will have more opportunities to thrive.

"Newcastle United play a pivotal role in our city, they are at the heart of many of our communities with incredible support from many of our residents. I hope that by the club getting behind the vaccine more and more people will continue to come forward and be jabbed.

"Covid-19 can impact every one of us, including fit and healthy Premier League footballers. Newcastle's players will benefit from additional protection from the virus and will hopefully enjoy training with minimum disruption.

"Every jab is another goal in our cup tie against the virus, another player in the wall stopping us from conceding, another minute closer to the final whistle. Do your bit, get a vaccine, get protected."

To find out where you can get a vaccine in Newcastle upon Tyne, please visit newcastle.gov.uk/services/public-health-wellbeing-and-leisure/public-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19/how-get.

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United stars encouraging supporters to get vaccinated

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