PATIENTS who have already received their first coronavirus vaccination will not get their second as quickly as planned.

It comes after government have told surgeries and hospitals to prioritise vaccinating as many vulnerable people as possible before inviting patients to return for the second dose.

In a social media post on December 31, Branch End Surgery, in Stocksfield, said: "We were informed yesterday by the Government that we have to concentrate on vaccinating as many patients as we can with the first Covid vaccination. Unfortunately, this means that patients who were vaccinated w/c December 28 won't be able to come back week commencing January 18 for the second vaccine. We will start contacting patients who are already booked in to let them know about this. The first vaccine is 90 per cent effective and the second vaccine takes the effectiveness up to 94 per cent. This is only a small difference, so we hope that patients won't be too upset that their second vaccination is going to be delayed. In the climate that we are in, it is imperative that we vaccinate as many vulnerable people as we can as soon as we can. Everyone will get their second vaccination but it will take a little bit longer. " The message is country-wide.

The message applies to patients of the following practices: Adderlane, Bellingham, Branch End, Burn Brae, Corbridge, Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge & Allendale, Humshaugh & Wark, Ponteland Medical Group, Prudhoe Medical Group, Riversdale, Scots Gap, Sele and White Medical Group.