COVID-19 vaccination update, 19 February

Further advances in health and care worker vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccination nurse

At the end of last week, the NHS in Sussex hit the national milestone of offering the vaccine to everyone in the first four priority groups. This included all eligible health and care workers.

While eligibility has now been extended to other groups, we’re still working to encourage all health and care workers to get their vaccine.

Work is continuing to understand and address vaccine hesitancy among staff groups, as well as our wider communities. For example, NHS trusts are working with Black and minority ethnic groups and GPs and local authorities are supporting care home providers to provide information and answer concerns.

All eligible health and care workers who have not yet had their first dose are able to book online at any one of the vaccination centres.

> Read more about workforce vaccinations in Sussex

Encouraging health and care workers to get their jab

Watch staff from East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust talk about why it’s so important for all health and care workers to get their jab.

Eligible health and care workers who haven’t had their first dose yet can find out more at www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/workforcevax

Update: Brighton Centre availability on national website

Appointments can be booked at the Brighton Centre now, following a technical issue with the national booking website yesterday.

If you were unable to book your vaccination at the Brighton Centre, please try again now as it as it is visible on the system and appointments are available. You can also book by calling 119.

With the Chichester vaccination centre open today, there are now four vaccination centres available on the national booking system in Sussex, along with three pharmacy-led services and other sites in neighbouring counties. These centres work alongside the GP led vaccination services and provide further capacity to ensure we can vaccinate all eligible people as quickly as possible.

If you are 65 and over and want to book your appointment, you can visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 free of charge.

Mythbuster

Why is my local GP-led vaccination service not open all week?

All our vaccination services are working extremely hard to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible with the vaccines they have available.

Vaccination supplies fluctuate from week to week and depend on the supply from national stocks. Because they are used as quickly as possible, this means that not all vaccination services operate every day.

Most local vaccination services receive confirmation of their delivery for the coming days, then invite people in to match the number of vaccines available, and then open for dedicated days to use up supplies before they expire. For the Pfizer vaccine, this is usually within a three day window.

GP practices are also working really hard at the moment to maintain both general medical services and the vaccination programme, and so will have teams back in their surgeries to ensure they can continue to provide the day to day care needed by their patients.

So if your local vaccination service doesn’t appear to be busy, the staff will be back in their practices, providing care to patients and booking people in and getting ready for their next vaccination sessions.

The NHS has already offered the vaccine to everyone in the area in the first four priority groups and remains on track to offer it to everyone in the first nine priority groups by May, in line with the national target.

Everyone over the age of 65 is eligible for the vaccine and can book their first appointment online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119. Those in cohort 6, which includes many people with underlying health conditions and their carers, will be contacted by their GP when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.

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