More than 440,000 people have now had their first COVID-19 vaccination in the first phase of the roll out to our communities.
Thanks to the hard work of our vaccination teams we have achieved the national target and across Sussex more than 90% of everyone aged 70 and over has received the first dose of their vaccination.
Further to this, we have offered the vaccination to everyone in the four priority groups and remain committed to ensuring those remaining in those groups are vaccinated as soon as possible.
We are working with our local authorities, community networks and the voluntary and community sector to support people within our diverse communities to ensure everyone is able to have access to the vaccine.
Across the country more than 15 million people have now had their first vaccination.
Watch a message from Adam Doyle, Sussex ICS Leader, on this significant milestone.
People age 65 and over and those who are clinically vulnerable are now eligible to receive their vaccination.
The next two priority groups for the vaccination are starting to receive invitations and are now able to book their appointments.
Anyone aged 65 and over is able to book your vaccination appointment through the national system with one of the vaccination centres or pharmacy led services, or book with your GP led vaccination service.
Those who are clinically vulnerable, for example people with chronic respiratory disease cystic fibrosis, and severe asthma – will be contacted by your GP led vaccination service to arrange your appointment.
Unpaid carers are also in the next priority groups and are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You don’t need to be registered as a carer with your GP to receive the vaccination.
Hardik Desai, who is leading the pharmacy led service in Ticehurst, was praised for his efforts by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in tonight’s government briefing.
As part of the latest national broadcast, the Prime Minister thanked Hardik for all of his work to rally a team of volunteers to set up the pharmacy led service in the East Sussex village.
The service is being run from the village hall and is one of three pharmacy led services in Sussex, and one of 262 in England.
People who are eligible for the vaccination can book at the Ticehurst service through the national booking system online or by calling 119.
We are aware that misleading information has been shared nationally on social media which suggests that nursery staff, childminders and other early years workers are currently eligible for vaccination.
At present, only those frontline health and social care workers identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) in priority cohort 2 are eligible. This includes those directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support. It does not include those working with children who do not have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, along with other professional associations, has issued a statement clarifying that the JCVI guidance remains unchanged and that that childcare practitioners are not currently eligible.
In Sussex, we continue to vaccinate people in the priority cohorts set by the JCVI, and local authorities are helping to identify eligible social care staff. People who may have booked in error are asked to wait their turn so we can prioritise those eligible for vaccination, including older residents and those who are clinically vulnerable.
People who are not eligible are urged not to book an appointment. If they do, they can expect to be declined the vaccination when they attend.
Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, stakeholder 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.