NHS thanks everyone involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme as it reaches one year anniversary

The NHS in Sussex is praising the monumental efforts of staff and volunteers across the region as it marks the anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination and the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

More than 3 million doses of the vital Covid-19 jab, including 1st, 2nd and booster and 3rd doses, have now been administered in Sussex since this time last year.

Latest data also shows that 1.3million people have been protected with their vaccination.

Vaccinations have been delivered through a combination of large-scale vaccination centres, hospital hubs, GP surgeries and community pharmacies.

Amy Galea, Senior Responsible Officer for the Sussex Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said:

“This is a fantastic milestone for the residents of Sussex and everyone involved in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine. Every single person involved in the programme has shown real commitment and dedication to rolling out this vaccine as quickly as we are able to in order to give our communities vital protection against the COVID-19 virus. Reaching the one year anniversary really highlights how far we have come and the incredible progress for our population here in Sussex.

“The vaccination programme has been a collective effort since the start across all of our sites – the hospital hubs, GP led local vaccination services, the vaccination centres, and our pharmacy led services.

“We could not have reached today’s anniversary without each and every person on those sites and those working tirelessly behind the scenes to make it happen. From the vaccinators, to the pharmacists, front door teams, people on the phones booking people in, to the thousands of volunteers – we thank you all.”

89-year-old Bidge Garton from Ringmer was one of the first people in Sussex to be vaccinated when the programme launched in December 2020.

Bidge had been a volunteer with the University Hospitals Sussex for more than 35 years. She started out delivering hospital menus to patients, before later gaining skills in counselling. Up until the pandemic she was based in the A&E department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, helping counsel bereaved families and give advice on the subject of organ donation.

Reflecting on the last year, she said: “When I got the call about the vaccine, I was so happy and thankful to be one of the first in Sussex and the country to receive the vaccine.

“It was an excellent day, and everyone was brilliant. I had absolutely no side effects and had received both doses before the end of the year!

“I have nothing but complete admiration for every single person involved in the vaccination programme. I don’t think they’ll ever know how incredible they are and what they’ve achieved.”

Currently, you can pre-book your COVID-19 booster online if it’s been2 months (61 days) since your 2nd dose and you are:

  • aged 40 and over
  • aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at increased risk from COVID-19.
  • Frontline health and social care workers