COVID-19 vaccination update, 5 February

10,000 people protected by COVID-19 vaccination service at Brighton Racecourse

Pamela Byrne receiving her vaccination

Pamela Byrne receiving her vaccination

The Brighton Racecourse GP led vaccination service has now protected 10,000 people who were at the greatest risk of severe illness or dying from catching COVID-19, offering further local support in the NHS fight back against coronavirus.

Pamela Byrne was patient “10,000” after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination, with her husband and Poppy the guide dog yesterday.

The milestone comes after arrangements were put into place in January for all patients registered with 20 GP practices in the city to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at Brighton Racecourse.

Brighton based healthcare social enterprise, Here (Care Unbound), have coordinated the Brighton Racecourse site, from planning and operations, to clinical recruitment and appointment bookings.

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).

People will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and are asked to not contact their GP to ask for the vaccine. Appointments are currently for the first priority groups – those most at risk of COVID-19

The Sussex vaccination programme is in full swing and reaching this significant milestone at the Racecourse site is a testament the hard work and dedication of health and care staff, and volunteers.

Watch the moment Pamela left the service after receiving her vaccination:

Pamela Byrne was patient “10,000” after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination, with her husband and Poppy the guide dog.


Thousands vaccinated in Hailsham in the last seven days

Hailsham GPs are on course to have offered the vaccination to all those in the first four priority risk groups by the middle of this month, in line with the national target, thanks to a huge effort by the town’s three GP practices and their local partners.

GPs from the town’s three surgeries – Bridgeside Surgery, Hailsham Medical Group and Quintin Medical Centre – are working in partnership with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to roll out the vaccination services.

All three surgeries offered vaccination sessions between 22-30 January, resulting in over 2,500 people receiving their first dose of vaccine. These sessions mainly concentrated on the over-80 age group. Residents living in all care homes for older people in Hailsham have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine. A small remainder of homes in Sussex have had visits deferred for safety reasons, following a risk assessment, during a local outbreak.

With support from the vaccination service at The Beacon Shopping Centre in Eastbourne, around 2,000 more patients from the Hailsham surgeries, mainly from the 75-79 and 70-75 age groups, have now also received their first vaccination.

This mean that over 4,500 patients registered with the Hailsham GP surgeries from the first four priority risk groups have now received their first vaccinations. More vaccine supplies are expected soon and further sessions are being planned.

People are asked not to contact your GP practice but to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available for you.


Crawley community project is the first host of local Covid-19 Vaccination Bus

Covid-19 vaccination bus

GP Federation, Alliance for Better Care (ABC), who are responsible for local vaccination services across parts of the Crawley, East Surrey and Horsham area, have teamed up with Metrobus to set up a roving vaccination service.

The initiative is aimed at reaching vulnerable people in Crawley and hopes to vaccinate more than 100 patients per day.

First to host has been the Apple Tree Centre – a community project created by the Gurjar Hindu Union which provides a large community space that is currently not being used due to the pandemic. The team were therefore keen to work alongside the NHS in creating an alternative venue for vaccinations that targeted vulnerable people.

The Apple Tree Centre team wanted to also help improve confidence and uptake for those who were feeling nervous about the vaccination, including members of the Hindu Community.

Bharat Lukka, Finance Director Governor for Gurjar Hindu Union said, “This partnership with the Hindu community of Crawley worked so well during these very difficult times. We are pleased that the Apple Tree Centre was used as a venue for vaccinations and, longer term, we have a large sports hall if required for indoor vaccinations.”

Matt Cullis, ABC Director and Practice Manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said: “It has been a privilege to partner with the Apple Tree Centre and the whole of the team for our first mobile vaccination site. Our partnership allowed us access to a site that was perfect for our needs when delivering a safe, mobile vaccination solution. We’re delighted to have established this local partnership.”


Your vaccination stories: Asmat Roe

Asmat Roe

Asmat Roe, who is retired and remains very active in the local community, One Voice and Faith Groups and Muslim Women’s groups, was vaccinated at Brighton Racecourse in February.

Asmat was very keen to have an invitation for vaccination, to help protect her, her family and her wider community. Like others, she was asked not to contact her GP to ask for the vaccine, but received a call when it was her turn for an appointment. 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).

Asmat was invited to the Brighton Racecourse GP led vaccination service, which offers local people a safe environment to receive their vaccination, in an accessible location served by good road and public transport links.

Asmat Roe receiving her vaccinationAfter being vaccinated Asmat said: “It is a real weight off of our minds. When I got the call for my appointment, I was absolutely up for it, and when I had the vaccination it was really easy and the whole process was really good, with everyone involved very helpful.

“I’m happy my husband and I have had our vaccination, but we know we must still follow the rules and be careful, while the pandemic continues. I get the flu jab each year and have always had good advice from doctors my whole life, so would encourage everyone to get their vaccination when invited, as we all have to do everything we can.”

Brighton Racecourse is being use by local GP practices that work together to deliver vaccinations in a convenient and familiar setting. The GP practices in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex have worked closely with the Brighton based healthcare social enterprise, Here (Care Unbound), who have coordinated the Brighton Racecourse site, from planning and operations, to clinical recruitment and appointment bookings.


Weekend snow forecasts

Snow is forecast across Sussex this weekend. We are currently expecting that all of our vaccination centres and services will continue to run as normal.

If you are attending a vaccine clinic please plan for cold weather and the potential for some queuing outside.

  • dress warmly
  • try to arrive on time but not early
  • if you are coming by car and are early stay in your car until close to your appointment time
  • bring a warm drink in a flask (there are no refreshments at vaccine sites)

Keep an eye on our website, Twitter and Facebook feeds where we will share details if this position changes.


Updated stakeholder briefing

An updated stakeholder briefing for Brighton and Hove is available.

Stakeholder briefings are issued every Tuesday and Thursday to provide an update on the COVID-19 response across the local NHS system, in particular the vaccination programme. They provide the latest information on the number and location of vaccination services in the local area.


More information

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.

> Find more information about the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme