Yesterday we reached a significant milestone to have offered the vaccination to everyone in the top four priority groups across Sussex.
More than 450,000 people have now receiving their first dose vaccination, and this is testament to the hard work of teams in all of our vaccination services and centres.
Thousands of people are working to run the services, support people receiving their vaccination, make sure the teams are supported – it is a whole team effort.
Amy Galea, Executive Director for the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, shares just some of the stories as we mark this achievement.
Today there has been a government announcement that an additional 1.7 million people are expected to be added to the shielded list across the country.
Anyone who is being added and who will be asked to shield is expected to receive a letter this week.
Currently around 2.2 million people are currently on the list in England, many of whom were identified for a single reason, such as specific cancers, those on immunosuppression drugs or who have severe respiratory conditions. The additional 1.7 million will bring the number on the list to almost four million.
The shielding scheme was expanded after researchers, led by scientists at Oxford University, developed a new tool to assess whether someone is at risk of severe disease or death. It includes factors such as age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), other health conditions and postcode – which is indicative of levels of deprivation.
Those newly added will be receiving letters informing of them of their new status, which means they are entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.
Deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries said: “This action ensures those most vulnerable to Covid can benefit from both the protection that vaccines provide and from enhanced advice and support should they choose it.”
We know that people want to know more about the vaccination programme and how it will affect them and their loved-ones.
To help us get information out to people and deal with the high volume of enquiries that we are receiving, we are regularly updating our FAQs on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website, to address common questions and queries.
Please help us to share these so people can get the information they need quickly and easily.
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.