PEOPLE eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations have been reassured they will be able to get their jab locally if they are unable to travel.

Letters have been sent to people currently eligible for the vaccine, inviting them to attend the North-East's mass vaccination site at the Centre for Life in Newcastle if they live within a 45 minute drive.

On Monday, Darlington PCN said NHS letters to had caused "confusion" among some vulnerable patients but has reassured people they will be contacted by their GPs if they do not book an appointment in Newcastle.

The site at the Centre of Life opened on Monday.

Darlington PCN, which started rolling out its programme last week, says anyone who is invited to get a vaccine in Newcastle but would prefer a local location can wait until they are contacted by their GP.

In a statement, it said: "Vaccine letters have gone out to over 80s today have caused confusion for vulnerable people and their families and added huge pressure to practices.

"Please be assured, if you are registered with a Darlington GP and 80 or over you are on our list.

"If you are over 80 and registered with a Darlington GP we will call to book you an appointment for a Covid vaccine in Darlington.

"If you have a mobile we will text you a link to book online.

"Please be aware we are given a limited supply each week, we will get to you as fast as we can."

All residents living in Darlington's care homes have now been offered a vaccination, the PCN said, with more than 900 jabs administered.

Another 621 people have also been given their first dose of the vaccination at the local vaccination site at Feethams House, while 77 people have been vaccinated in extra care facilities.

Guidance issued by NHS England says anyone who receives a letter can choose to wait for GP services to contact them.

It says: "

More locations will also become available through or by ringing 119 in the coming weeks so you could also try again later.

"If you are unable to leave the house to travel to where you are offered an appointment and cannot arrange for someone to help you, your local NHS services will be in contact with you.

"If you receive a letter and already have an appointment booked to have your vaccine at a local GP service please ignore the letter.

"There is nothing you need to do except turn up at your scheduled GP appointment."

There are now almost 800 local vaccination sites in England, with about 60 in the North-East and North Yorkshire.