COVID-19 vaccination update, 22 April

Progress to date

Total vaccinations in Sussex: 1,203,360

Brighton Racecourse service marks 50,000 vaccinations

50,000 vaccinations so far

This week the local vaccination service at Brighton Racecourse has celebrated delivering 50,000 vaccinations.

Since January the service run by the HERE GP Federation has been vaccinating local residents, providing first doses and most recently second dose appointments.

Well done to everyone involved – the whole team, the volunteers and everyone who has attended for their vaccinations!

Dates for this week’s community clinics

COVID-19 vaccination update, 15 April

The community team reaching out to those who are eligible and yet to have their vaccine hits the road again this week. Sessions are being held on the following days:

Friday 23 April 2021

  • 10:30am to 2:30pm
  • Car park at St Peter’s Church, York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU

Saturday 24 April

  • 10.30-14.30
  • Moulsecoomb Freedom leisure centre, Moulsecoomb Way, Brighton BN2 4PB

Sunday 25 April

  • 10.30-14.30
  • Waitrose Car Park, 130-134 Western Road, Brighton BN1 2LA

Pre-booked appointments are available for anyone eligible. Limited drop in appointments are also available.

Anyone over the age of 45 years old is eligible for the free vaccination in the community, along with those who are aged under 45 and have a serious long term health issue, and unpaid carers.

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.

Second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine given to more than half of care home residents in Sussex

The majority of the most vulnerable care home residents in Sussex and staff working to look after them have received their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, giving them maximum protection.

As at 20 April, 404 care homes in Sussex had been visited by the GP-led teams and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust so residents could receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccinations began at care homes for older people, as they were identified at highest risk from the COVID-19 infection. The second dose provides the most protection possible by reinforcing the protection given by the recipient’s initial immune response, triggered by the first vaccine.

Sussex NHS Commissioners Chief Nursing Officer, Allison Cannon, said: “By vaccinating hundreds of older people across hundreds of care homes in Sussex we have given them not only some protection against the virus, but also a sense of hope. Thank you to everyone who has taken up their offer of a vaccination – the high uptake has contributed to a reduction in outbreaks of the virus in our local care homes.

“Across Sussex we have 748 homes – one of the highest numbers of nursing and care homes per capita across the country and so this work is a significant undertaking. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our vaccination teams for their ceaseless work around the clock to get this vital protection to our older people.”

Visiting loved ones in care homes

Alongside other protections in place, vaccination of both residents and staff in care settings has helped to enable the resumption of indoor visiting – reuniting families with their loved ones.

From 12 April 2021, national guidance stated that every care home resident can nominate up to two named visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits.

As care homes reopen to the public, there are steps you need to take to protect yourself and those around you. Listen to this podcast with Dr Claire Lehman, Consultant in Public Health at West Sussex County Council to find out how to visit your loved ones safely.

Dedicated sessions next week in Hastings to support homeless people and rough sleepers


Progress is going well in Hastings and to date, 83.9% of all residents in the nine priority cohorts have been vaccinated; this includes an incredible 97.2% of care home residents and staff at care homes, and over 90% for those aged 75 and over.

We recognise there are groups and communities where a dedicated approach can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive their vaccination.

Currently there is focused effort in the town to reach out to those who are homeless and rough sleepers.

The Hastings and St Leonard’s Primary Care Network, which runs the vaccination service at King’s Church, and St John Ambulance Homeless Service are working together to offer people in the town their Covid-19 vaccine from a mobile vaccination centre next week. Dedicated sessions are taking place to visit accommodation and make sure as many people as possible are able to receive their vaccination.

Community vaccination sessions are now coming to the Havens in May

We are working hard to combat any barriers stopping people getting their COVID-19 vaccination by taking mobile vaccination services out to communities across East Sussex. We know many local people are keen to get their vaccine, and clinics a bit closer to home would help them do this, so we are working in partnership with local GPs to make this happen.

We were hoping to run some sessions in The Havens on 29 and 30 April but unfortunately it is taking us a little longer to arrange these than anticipated – but they are coming soon! We are sorry to have to postpone the April dates that were previously shared, but local people will not have to wait too much longer.

Details about dates, times and venues in Newhaven and Peacehaven – which we hope to run in May – will be shared widely as soon as possible.

Once these have been confirmed people will be able to pre-book an appointment, with a limited amount of drop-in appointments also available. Anyone over the age of 45 is eligible for the free vaccination in the community, along with those aged under 45 who have a serious long-term health issue, and unpaid carers. All you will need to do is bring along one form of ID (photo ID is not required) and your NHS number (if known).

In the meantime if you are eligible you can book your vaccine online or call 119 to arrange an appointment at one of the vaccination centres.

Thanks to everyone for their understanding and please be assured more dates will be released soon.

New advice on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women

Pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised.

The new advice comes following analysis of real-world data from the United States showing that around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with mRNA vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, without any safety concerns being raised.

Updated advice for pregnant women in the UK now says that it’s preferable for them to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed.

Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said: “Vaccination offers pregnant women the best protection from COVID-19, which can be serious in some women.”

Read more on this story

‘Having the COVID vaccine is just like having any other vaccine’

Across our area more than 80% of people with a Learning Disability have had their first vaccination.

Dedicated sessions such as the Quiet Session at the Brighton Centre at the weekend help to provide the right setting for people with Learning Disabilities to attend an appointment.

In the video below we follow Michelle as she gets her vaccination.

If you are yet to have your first vaccination please speak to your GP practice.

Reminder about second dose appointments

We are receiving a number of enquiries from people who are concerned about their second dose appointment.

If you booked your first vaccination through the national booking service (website) or by calling 119, you should have been able to book both appointments at the same time. If you need to change your second dose appointment please contact 119 or visit the website and search for ‘Manage my Booking’.

If you had your first vaccination at a GP led local vaccination service, their team will be contacting you approximately around 11 to 12 weeks from the date of your first appointment. They will contact you as soon as vaccines are available in line with deliveries and supply. Please do not contact your GP practice to ask about an appointment before week 12 and please note the vaccination service may contact you in week 12 for an appointment that week.

New animations launched to help tackle disinformation

NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched a series of animations aimed at tackling disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Aimed specifically at encouraging uptake in ethnic minority groups, the animations are available in 17 different languages and are suitable for use on a wide range of social media platforms.

They cover key topics including vaccine safety, how it was tested, how it was developed so quickly, what is in it, and what the side effects are.

The main animation is below and you can view them all now on YouTube.

This animation helps to tackle disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccination, especially among ethnic minority groups. It covers key topics including vaccine safety, how it was tested, how it was developed so quickly, what is in it, and what the side effects are.

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