NHS staff and patients in Teesside are now being protected against Covid-19 after the ground-breaking Pfizer vaccine was rolled out this week.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust started vaccinating from its own site at the University Hospital of North Tees on Tuesday.

Staff and patients are being vaccinated, following a priority system which includes health issues, age, ethnicity and their job role.

The organisation is also working with local care homes to help vaccinate its workers.

Medical director, Deepak Dwarakanath, said: “This is a truly ground-breaking moment for the organisation and for the health service in this country.

“We feel privileged to be an accredited vaccination site and to be able to protect our staff, our patients and staff from our local care homes who we work with so closely across the Tees Valley.

“For our workforce, it has been the most challenging year of our careers. And for patients and our local community, it has been one of the most worrying and uncertain times they have ever experienced.

“This vaccine gives us all the hope that we can protect the most vulnerable, ourselves and our loved ones and reduce pressure on our services.”