COVID-19 vaccination update, 30 September

First man in the South East to be vaccinated receives COVID booster in Sussex

Michael Tibbs, 99, receives COVID booster vaccine as NHS vaccination rollout continues

Michael Tibbs made history as the oldest person to receive the Pfizer jab in the UK on 8 December, 2020, and this week in Sussex he received his booster shot in the biggest and most successful rollout in health service history.

The 99-year-old Second World War submarine lieutenant received his booster at Midhurst Pharmacy this week just ahead of his 100thbirthday.

The service is one of more than 30 across Sussex which are now giving booster vaccinations to eligible patients after the roll out started last week.

People do not need to contact the NHS but will be invited when it is their turn. Texts and letters are going out to people to invite them to use the national booking system, and local GP vaccination services are contacting people directly.

Michael said: “I’m grateful to receive the booster vaccination as I was to receive the first. I didn’t notice any side effects. Just a prick, and it’s done! It’s wonderful and I think it’ll make a lot of difference to everybody.”

Michael received his booster at Midhurst Pharmacy, where Raj Rohilla and team have been working hard to vaccinate thousands of people in the West Sussex community since the programme began in December last year.

Raj said: “It was a real pleasure and an honour to meet Mr Tibbs at our pharmacy. We feel it a real privilege to complete Mr Tibbs’ vaccination journey with his COVID Booster.

“We would like to urge everyone who is invited for their COVID Booster to take up the offer and book with the National Booking System either online or by phoning 119.”

16 and 17 year olds can now book their jab online

hands on laptop clipart

This week the NHS is calling for any 16 or 17 year old who hasn’t had their COVID vaccine yet to come forward.

It is now even easier for people aged 16 and 17 to get the all-important COVID-19 vaccination as they can now use the national booking system to book online.

This means they can now use the website or call 119 to book an appointment as well as to see the clinics and walk in sessions available for them.

Hundreds of appointments are available every day in Sussex, and there are walk ins for this group each day at specific locations.

More than half of 16 and 17 year olds have now received their vaccination in Sussex and nearly three quarters of a million young people in England, around 60%, are already vaccinated.

Thousands of texts are being sent to eligible teenagers to encourage them to come forward to get protected. Messages appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to make a booking.

Walk in sessions are also available every day – see the latest list for this week.

Freshers Fair activities continue this week in Brighton and Hove

outdoor vax site at Freshers Fair

This week we have continued our work with the city’s universities to offer the vaccine to students as they start the new year.

We have been at Fresher’s Fairs and this week we have been at the University of Brighton at the Cockroft Building to make it as easy as possible for younger people to get their jab.

The services have offered first and second doses, and have been well attended.

One-stop walk-ins for Covid vaccines in Eastbourne

sovereign harbour community centre

Anyone who is eligible for a Covid jab can now get the one they need without an appointment at Sovereign Harbour Community Centre in Eastbourne.

The centre, which is open from 8.30-4.30pm seven days a week, is ready to welcome people who need either their first, second or booster jab, according to the following criteria:

  • First dose – anyone aged 16 or over who needs their first jab
  • Second dose – anyone aged 16 and over who needs their second dose, must be 8 weeks after their first dose
  • Autumn booster – must be six months after second dose, those eligible are:
    • People aged 50 and over
    • People who live and work in care homes
    • Frontline health and social care workers
    • People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
    • Carers aged 16 and over
    • People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections

A team from South Downs Health and Care GP Federation, which is running the Sovereign Harbour Community Centre vaccination service, is contacting local people registered with GP practices across Eastbourne, Hailsham, Seaford and Bexhill to offer appointments for the autumn booster.

However, anyone covered by the list above can also just walk in between 8.30am-4.30pm. Sovereign Harbour Community Centre is located at The Crumbles, Pevensey Bay Road, Eastbourne BN23 6JH. Free parking is available and there are good public transport links.

New pop-up venue for Hastings

We’ve added another location for people to get their Covid jab in Hastings.

On Friday 8 October a pop-up session will take place at Asda in Battle Road, Hastings, St Leonards on Sea TN37 7AA from 12 noon until 6.30pm.

You will find us in the top car park, by the grocery collection area. People aged 16 and over who need a jab are welcome to come along.

Find out where to get a jab in Hastings and other locations in Sussex.

More than 20 schools visited as part of 12-15 year old vaccination offer

female nurse speaking to school pupil

By the end of this week more than 20 schools across Sussex, including five in Brighton and Hove, will have been visited to offer 12 to 15 year old students their COVID vaccine.

The visits, led by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, have been taking place every day this week, and will be taking place over the next six weeks for remaining schools.

Parental, guardian or carer consent is being sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to their visits in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

Every parent, carer or guardian is being written to with the arrangements for their child’s school and a link to the consent system.  There is also a phone number for anyone who needs an alternative method. These letters will be shared over the next six weeks as the visits are arranged with schools.

Children with parental consent in place will then be offered a vaccine on the day of visit to the school.

Read more about these vaccinations, and FAQs for 12 to 15 year olds

Warning as parents and schools are targeted by anti-vaccination hoaxes

As the schools vaccination programme continues, reports of hoax anti-vaccination activity is rising.

This week schools were targeted by an email pretending to be from the NHS, with a fake consent form for parents.

Head teachers were sent a “consent checklist”, under a fake NHS logo, along with a letter telling them to share this with parents.

But the checklist includes a series of negative claims about the risks of vaccinations to young people.

There have also been reports of parents receiving emails asking for payment for the vaccine for their child or children.

Schools are being reassured that all official information will be shared through the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) provider in the usual way.

Parents and the public are being urged to remember, the COVID vaccination is free on the NHS and no-one will be asked to pay for it. If there are any concerns about an email or communication you have received, please contact the Vaccine Enquiries Team –

New national service to support missing or incorrect vaccination information

This week the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) has been launched, aiming to resolve missing or incorrect vaccination records for people.

To use the support you need to have been vaccinated in England, have a current NHS number and are registered with a GP practice in England.

To reach the service, simply call 119. The call agent is able to make a referral to the VDRS team on your behalf. The VDRS team will then call you back within five working days.

Please note the service is not able to provide clinical advice and cannot assist at this time with queries related to vaccinations received overseas.

If the query relates to personal information that is incorrect on the patient record (e.g. name, address), these will still need to be resolved by their GP practice.

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