This week we marked one year on from the first lockdown in England, on 23 March 2020. It is also 15 weeks since the COVID-19 vaccination programme was launched. In that time significant progress has been made and data published today shows that more than 800,000 people in Sussex have now been vaccinated.
Yesterday the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme was recognised for the hard work and dedication of its teams at Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP for Wealden Nus Ghani thanked ICS System Leader Adam Doyle, Charlotte Luck at The Meads and Susie Padgham at Saxonbury House and all of the vaccination heroes who have made such significant progress in rolling out the vaccination across our communities.
The progress to date is down to the efforts of all of the teams involved, primary care, community, hospital teams and CCG – thank you to you all.
Looking forward over the coming days and weeks, vaccination teams across our area remain focused on reaching people in the nine priority eligible groups and ensuring that everyone in these groups has the opportunity to receive their vaccination.
Since the programme started, vaccination services have worked flexibly to respond to the supply of the vaccine and we will continue to do so during April when nationally the supply of vaccine will be constrained.
If anyone is eligible and has not yet had their vaccination, please use the national booking service website, call 119 or contact your GP led local vaccination service to book your appointment as soon as possible.
> See the full breakdown of data published today which includes information by CCG area, local authority and MP constituency.
As part of our work to engage with our diverse communities across West Sussex, we have new materials translated in a range of languages to encourage people to have their vaccination.
We are working directly with community groups and our local authority partners, and we hope that supportive materials can help to reduce hesitancy and address any barriers to the vaccination.
The newly translated materials include posters in eight languages such as Farsi, Bengali, and Arabic to encourage anyone eligible who has not yet had their vaccination to come forward.
All of our translated materials are available on our website. Please use these materials and share them in your communities.
A community team went live last week as part of the focused campaign to further increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination in the city – and it is set to hit the road again this week.
The team – on board an ambulance – are visiting local neighbourhoods to bring the vaccine closer to people’s homes and make it as easy as possible for those eligible to receive their vaccination.
This week the team will be outside St Peter’s Church in York Place on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March 2021.Sessions are taking place from 10:30am to 2:30pm for anyone in the eligible priority groups.
Pre-booked appointments are available and there will also be limited drop in appointments on both days.
If you are eligible and are yet to receive your vaccination, simply call 0300 303 8060 to book your appointment with this community service this week.
Getting the vaccine in the community is easy; just bring one form of ID (photo ID not required) and NHS number, if known.
More COVID-19 community vaccination sessions are currently being planned for further sites across the city and will be promoted once all details have been finalised.
The service is being provided the HERE GP Federation, which is also running the vaccination service at Brighton Racecourse.
Free transport options are now available to help people in the city who have no means to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment get to and from their COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
Brighton and Hove City Council and the local NHS are committed to ensuring residents in the city can access the COVID-19 vaccine.
Local residents who have no means to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment will be able to book a free return journey to help them attend.
To book free return journeys people are asked to please book their vaccination appointment first and then call 0300 303 8060 to speak to a travel coordinator.
The booking service is available between 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Monday to Friday. If unable to speak directly with a COVID-19 Vaccination Travel Coordinator, people are asked to leave their name and contact number, and they will be called back at the earliest opportunity.
We have received a number of enquiries this week about access to language support at vaccination centres and services.
If you do not speak English as your first language, interpreting support is available at all of our vaccination sites and can be easily arranged to support you during your appointment.
Face to face interpreting is available and can be requested from local organisations including Vandu and Sussex Interpreting Services.
They can be contacted using the details below:
Telephone interpreting is also available on site at all services.
If you are d/Deaf, face to face British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting is also available by self-referral from Action Deafness and a video relay service using Signlive is available at all GP led local vaccination services, pharmacy led services and the vaccination centres.
Three special drop-in vaccination clinics will be taking place over Saturday and Sunday (27 and 28 March) to further increase the number of people in Worthing who have received their vaccination.
To date more than 60,000 vaccinations have been delivered to residents in Worthing, including more than 58,000 first doses. But the GP practice teams are keen to make sure that no one misses out.
This means people aged 50 and over, are clinically extremely vulnerable, have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or are an unpaid carer will be able to attend the sessions without needing to book this coming weekend.
To make it as easy as possible, three drop in clinics have been arranged.
Please note this is only for people currently eligible for the vaccination and are for first dose vaccinations only.
Today, our Vaccination Champion team joined a national Community Champions Scheme webinar to share progress in Sussex and the difference our Champions are making.
The webinar brought together NHS and local authorities to showcase schemes from across the country.
Our Vaccination Champion scheme began in January and to date there are now 99 champions in Sussex helping to share information in their communities about the vaccination programme and providing encouragement to people to have their jab.
At least six champions have created their own Facebook groups – one with a membership of over 2,000 – which have proved to be a valuable way of sharing NHS messages, support and answering queries from their local communities.
We would like to thank all of our champions for their continued dedication and support.
Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, 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.