THE Health Secretary has praised the "first class" roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine in Darlington. 

In a video, following the Prime Minister’s roadmap announcement on Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock thanked local services in Darlington for doing an "amazing job".

Commenting on the local situation Mr Hancock said: “There is an absolutely first rate vaccine roll out in Darlington, helping to protect the most vulnerable to Covid from across Darlington, making sure they were  out of the blocks early and supporting people getting those jabs.

"I've seen such hope from people coming through the vaccine programme in Darlington.

"This builds on the incredible work being done on community testing."

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington said: “I’m delighted that the Health Secretary has recognised the outstanding efforts being undertaken by our teams in Darlington. The Primary Care Network and Darlington Borough Council have gone above and beyond to ensure that we get the best outcome for communities across the town.

“The fantastic uptake of community tests combined with our first rate vaccination programme has well and truly put Darlington on the map”.

Councillor Kevin Nicholson, cabinet member for Health and Housing, said: “We’re proud to be recognised by the Health Secretary for our gold standard in community testing. It’s fantastic to see so many people taking tests at one of our six testing sites.

“We were the first town in the North-East to have our mass testing scheme, and we now leading the way in the UK. Our community testing programme interrupts transmission, and helps to drive down our case rates, saves lives and protect our communities”.

Responding to the video on social media, Darlington's PCN, which is running the vaccination programme, thanked all those involved, including GP practices and staff, volunteering group Darlington Cares, Darlington Borough Council, NHS Tees Valley CCG and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

It said: "It really is a team effort."

To book a test at one of our six community testing sites, please visit: