NHS bosses on Teesside are trying to ramp up efforts to get people vaccinated amid soaring Covid rates and concern about the 100,000 people who are yet to have a jab.

Thousands of extra walk-in slots are being made available across Teesside due to concerns about uptake.

Last week saw more than 2,500 people come forward for their first vaccine. Across the Tees Valley there are 105,910 people who are eligible for their first jab who have not yet come forward, 11,228 who are eligible for their second vaccine who have not come forward and 114,435 people who still need their booster.

Dr Janet Walker, from Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s fantastic 350,000 booster doses have been given and figures are going up every hour.

“However that does mean we have over 100,000 people who are yet to come forward for their booster.

“More of an issue and a concern is across Tees Valley we’ve got more than 100,000 yet to come forward for a vaccine. It’s not too late. Today could be the day you come forward.”

Despite efforts to boost uptake, a walk-in centre set up at Wellington Square Shopping Centre in Stockton remained quiet on Thursday.

Cases are rising faster in the area than anywhere else in the country.

The latest figures from the Government show the five places with the highest week-on-week growth in cases were all in the North East, with cases rising the most in Middlesbrough, followed by Hartlepool, Sunderland, South Tyneside and Darlington.

Cases in Teesside are also among the highest in England according to figures for the seven days to January 7. Middlesbrough has more than 3,000 cases per 100,000 people according to the Government’s latest data. Stockton is third in England, while Hartlepool is fourth, and Redcar and Cleveland is fifth.

A joint statement from the directors of public health from Teesside, covering Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland, said: “It’s a major concern at the moment that we have thousands of people who have not been vaccinated at a time when our Covid infection rates are sky high.

"The threat of the Omicron variant is serious. we would urge people not to take the chance and make the mistake of assuming they would get away with mild symptoms. We have hundreds of people in local hospitals at the moment requiring urgent medical treatment. The patients in critical care are largely unvaccinated.

“Being vaccinated is the single most important thing people can do to protect themselves. It’s not too late to decide to come forward for your free, safe and effective jabs.

“Thanks to the efforts of the NHS and partners across Tees Valley, including the MFC Foundation, we have thousands of walk-in slots available this month and health professionals on hand to talk to you.

“Having your first, second and booster jabs as well as following public health measures can help you live life as normally as possible in the months ahead. Being vaccinated protects you, those around you and lets you plan ahead.”

Anyone aged 12 years and above can either book or walk into vaccination site.