The team at Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour Community Centre vaccination service are going the extra mile to make it as easy as possible for families to help their children receive their life saving vaccinations.
As part of the national programme to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations to 5 to 11 year olds who are at risk, The Crumbles vaccination service in Eastbourne is holding dedicated sessions by appointment, for children and their families to come and get vaccinated alongside the chance to see some of their favourite superheroes.
The team, run by South Downs Health and Care GP Federation, have put lots of thought into how to make the centre a welcoming place for children to help put them at ease. The staff are dressed up and have decorated the centre with balloons, bubbles and pictures of their favourite Disney characters.
Jane, who is a vaccinator and nurse at the centre and has undergone special training to vaccinate young children, said:
“We’ve had some children come in dressed as batman today, and we have things around that can help them relate to this like models and posters, so it makes it less clinical and more friendly which helps to put the children at ease. They can also choose a gift and sticker once they’ve have their jab.”
One parent said: “I was really nervous about bringing my son today because he is autistic and isn’t great with new people. But the environment they have made here with the superheroes, has just made it so much easier.”
Dr Sarah Ali, one of the Lead GPs at the service, run by South Downs Health and Care GP Federation, said:
“We’re targeting a vulnerable group of 5 – 11 year olds who may be more at risk. If they caught COVID they might not be able to mount as strong as a response as healthy children so it’s really important that they get vaccinated. We are also looking at the wider picture to try and prevent transmission as much as possible.”
Watch the team in action on ITV Meridian news.
At the end of January, the vaccination programme began to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination to children aged between 5 and 11 who are most at risk of COVID-19 or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed.
6,268 eligible children have been identified in these groups across Sussex, and vaccination teams are currently contacting families and arranging their appointments at specific clinics for this age group.
The Sussex vaccination programme is urging parents to book their child in for their vaccination as soon as they are invited to help get them the protection they need.
Parents and carers should wait for the NHS to contact them for when it is their child’s turn to get the vaccine.