This week people aged 60 to 64 will be starting to receive their invitations to book their COVID jab.
Letters will be arriving from the national booking service inviting them to visit the NHS website or call 119 free of charge to arrange their appointment. By following these steps, anyone in this group will be able to book an appointment at the larger vaccination centres or pharmacy led services.
Extending the programme to those aged 60 and over means that everyone in the first seven priority groups are now eligible for their vaccination, with people aged between 50 and 60 set to be invited shortly.
The NHS is encouraging everyone who has been invited to take up the offer. It doesn’t matter when you were invited, you can still come forward and protect yourself.
This is a handy guide and can be shared within your communities, networks and organisations.
Across our local area, vaccination services are preparing to offer second doses.
While the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gives a good immunity to the virus, two doses are needed to have the best chance of full protection. Second doses are being scheduled up to twelve weeks after the first.
It is really important that people get both doses to get the greatest benefit from the vaccine.
If you don’t already have your date for your second dose, please be patient. Unless you have already booked both doses through the national booking service, you must have your second dose at the same place that you received your first.
They will contact you to arrange your appointment, but this may not happen until around ten to eleven weeks after your first appointment.
Volunteers are working incredibly hard in vaccination services across our local area to support those attending for their appointments.
They are playing an integral role supporting people, keeping people safe, and helping to make sure the vaccinations can all happen smoothly.
One example is Tony from East Grinstead Lions who is a key part of the team in the Meridian Hall.
The NHS in Sussex is working hard to get the vaccine to everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible.
The order in which people are offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The NHS is prioritising vaccinations for those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most.
For most people, their prioritisation is based on their age, but there are many other reasons why someone will be prioritised for the vaccine. These include being a frontline health or care worker, having an underlying health condition, or being a carer for a vulnerable person.
Some people may have been prioritised because they cared for someone in the past and have not updated their GP about a change in circumstances, or because of a previous health condition which is still in their notes. Some may be prioritised for a reason that they wish to remain confidential.
The Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme has already offered the vaccine to all those in the first four eligible groups and is on track to have offered it to everyone in the first nine groups by mid-April, in line with the national target.
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.