COVID-19 vaccination update, 10 February

Supporting our communities

Vaccination centre

As we work to ensure that everyone in the first four priority groups has been offered the vaccination, we are working to reach and hear from some of our communities who experience health inequalities, and people who are experiencing barriers to accessing the vaccine.

We will continue to share more on this in future issues.

We are also putting into place measures tao support people in accessing the vaccine, including:

  • Collating and providing information in different languages and formats, including community languages, British Sign Languages and Easy Read
  • Making sure there is access to community language and British Sign Language interpreting at vaccination sites
  • Supporting options for transport in key areas where we know there have been issues, including some of our rural communities
  • Working with our voluntary and community sector organisations to cascade information widely through our diverse communities
  • Working with Carers’ organisations to develop specific communications for informal carers
  • Providing information for older people who may be frail about access, waiting safely, how they may feel after the vaccine.

Thank you to our volunteer vaccine heroes

NHS staff are working hard across the country to help roll-out this historic vaccination programme, but it also would not be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers.

We are so grateful to all of those local people giving their time to support in a variety of roles, including stewarding and even vaccinating patients.

Among them in West Sussex is someone you might recognise. Local star Hugh Bonneville has been a regular volunteer marshal at his local vaccination hub in Midhurst, West Sussex and shares his experience with the BBC in this video.

Visit the NHS Volunteer Responders website to find out how you can support your local community during the pandemic by volunteering.

Myth buster

Do the vaccines work against different strains of the virus?

We know that the vaccines currently being given by the NHS appear to work well against the strains of COVID-19 that are dominant in the UK. That is why medical experts encourage eligible people to get their vaccine as soon as they are offered it, because it will prevent the risk of illness from the strains that pose an immediate threat.

For strains that are dominant in other countries or are yet to emerge, the current vaccines may be less effective at preventing infection, but some evidence suggests they could still be just as effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death. It may be that updated vaccines or booster jabs are developed in the future. In the meantime, the clinical advice remains that people should get the vaccines that are shown to protect against the strains that pose the greatest risk right now.

More information

Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each arealatest datastakeholder briefings, answers to frequently asked questions and links to all the national leaflets and materials.

Thank you for your support in helping to keep our local communities updated and informed about this fast-moving and unprecedented vaccination programme.

Find more information about the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme