Local NHS urges people not to delay second doses

Jean Higginson, Hove resident

As the largest ever NHS vaccination programme enters its final stages, the local NHS is urging local residents to come forward for their first vaccination and remember to get their second dose.

The plea comes as people aged 21 and over become eligible today, Wednesday 16 June, and all adults aged 18 and over will be eligible for the lifesaving jab by the end of the week.

Also people aged 40 and over are now able to have their second jab from eight weeks after their first – moving it forward from the original 12 week period. This extends the group after people aged 50 and over were able to do this last month.

If you have booked your appointments through the national booking system, from today you can use the website or call 119 to move your second dose forward.

If you had your first vaccination from a GP led team, you will be contacted as quickly as possible to rearrange your second dose.

Whether you are moving it forward, or have an appointment booked, everyone is urged to attend their second dose appointment.

Research this week showed how important the second jab is at protecting people against the Delta/Indian variant.

Studies have found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be 96% effective against hospitalisation after two doses, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca is 92% effective.

To date more than 1.1 million people in Sussex have received their vaccination, and more than 800,000 have had both doses.

Amy Galea, Senior Responsible Officer for the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme said:

“Thanks to the incredible work of teams across Sussex, more than three quarters of all adults living across our communities have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with over half having received both.

“This is really positive, but we are not complacent.

“We want to encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward and book your first dose if you not had it yet. With all adults becoming eligible by the end of this week, the time is now to book your appointment with slots available across our vaccination services next week.

“It is also vital that everyone makes sure they receive their second dose. If you are contacted to bring forward your second dose appointment I would urge you to do this as soon as possible, as getting both doses is what will give everyone the maximum possible protection against COVID.

“The vaccine is our most effective shield against the virus and there has never been a more important time to get protected.”

Jean Higginson from Hove, had her second dose on board a mobile vaccination bus in Hove. Jean said:

“It’s my second jab and getting protected from COVID-19 will enable me to go and see my new granddaughter for the first time who is three months old.

“If you’re invited, please go – it’s a wonderful and lovely service.”