COVID-19 vaccination update, 12 February

Continued focus on the initial priority groups as over 65s invited to book from Monday

The NHS in Sussex remains on track to have offered the vaccine to all those in the first four priority groups by the end of the of the week, in line with the national target.

Thousands more people at the greatest risk of severe illness or dying from COVID-19 are set to get their vaccinations this weekend, boosting their protection against the virus. Work is underway to reach all those in our communities who have not yet taken up their offer of a vaccine and this will remain a priority, even as other cohorts start to become eligible.

Currently, those aged 70 and over and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been those invited for appointments, along with frontline health and care workers.

People aged over 65 are also now starting to receive letters inviting them to book their vaccination from Monday.

The Sussex vaccination programme is in full swing and to date more than 400,000 vaccinations have been given. This includes thousands of people in care homes, those who are aged over 70 and health and care staff across Sussex, and our teams are working seven days a week to continue to deliver the vaccine to local people.

To ensure everyone has been offered the opportunity to have the jab, people aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated and who would like to, are now able to book their appointment through the national NHS booking service website or by calling 119.

The timing of when people will get the vaccination depends on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in, which is set by the national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (an independent expert advisory committee).

We do ask everyone to recognise this is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken and it will take some time to get to everyone.

Find out more about the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex.

Sussex vaccination programme praised by national leaders

Emily Lawson and Brigadier Phil Prosser seeing our progress in Sussex

Today we have been delighted to welcome Emily Lawson, who leads the national vaccination programme for NHS England, and Brigadier Phil Prosser to see our progress in Sussex and how we are rolling out the vaccination programme to our communities.

They visited two local vaccination services – Clair Hall in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and The Meads Medical Centre in Uckfield, East Sussex – to see first hand how our vaccination services are supporting local people.

They talked with patients, the teams on both sites, including Katherine Saunders, CEO of Alliance for Better Care GP Federation, and Dr Katie Spensley, Co-Clinical Director of Haywards Heath Villages PCN at Clair Hall, and Charlotte Luck, Practice Manager, and Dr Ragu Rajan, Clinical Director of Greater Wealden Primary Care Network, at The Meads.

They also discussed the overall progress across Sussex with Adam Doyle, ICS Leader, and Amy Galea, Executive Lead for the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, how we are on track to have offered the vaccination to all those aged 70 and over, and clinically extremely vulnerable by next week, and the next steps for vaccinations in Sussex.

Watch Emily’s reflections on her visit and her message for all the teams working across all of our services in Sussex.

National booking service opened up to health and care staff

The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has prioritised frontline health and care workers because they are at high risk of exposure to the virus and provide care to multiple vulnerable individuals. At present, only health, social care and care workers are eligible. Other key workers, such as teachers, firefighters and police officers are not currently eligible.

The majority of eligible health and care staff in Sussex have already received their first vaccination. Those that have yet to take up the offer are now able to book their appointment at one of the vaccination centres or pharmacy-led vaccination services through the national NHS booking service website or by calling 119.

Until now, health and care workers in Sussex were offered vaccinations at one of the hospital hub sites. Now that the vast majority of eligible health and care workers have received their first dose, these sites are turning their attention to other cohorts. The GP-led local vaccination services remain focused primarily on their patients.

Health and care workers are required to take proof of eligibility with them to their vaccination appointment. This includes a work photo ID badge or other photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport and written proof of eligibility such as a letter of authorisation or recent wage slip.

Read more about workforce vaccinations in Sussex

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