This week marks two years since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the city.
It has taken an efforts from GP practices, teams of healthcare workers and volunteers across the city coming together to work collectively to protect the residents of Brighton and Hove from COVID-19.
Together, they have helped provide more than 596,000 first, second and booster doses in the city.
Just as with our hospital doctors, GPs and their teams had been vaccinating people against COVID-19, alongside providing day-to-day care for their patients and delivering the flu campaign, which demonstrates just how important this is.
The local NHS and it’s partners in the city are committed to working together to ensure that everyone eligible gets the chance to get the vaccination, and will continue to reach anyone who is yet to have it.
Thousands of people living on the streets in Brighton and Hove have been given a COVID-19 vaccine.
A year ago, a dedicated team in Brighton and Hove set out to ensure people who were sleeping rough, or living in temporary or emergency accommodation could have access to a jab.
Latest data shows more than 2,000 vulnerable people in the city have now been given a vaccination.
Arch Healthcare, which specialises in supporting people who are experiencing homelessness, has been leading on delivering the jabs.
Vaccines have been offered at ARCH surgery or through mobile vaccination clinics. The ambulance, which is being provided by the Eastbourne Scouts First Aid team, is taking the vaccines to various hostels and temporary accommodation across the city.
This week, we showcased this work with ITV Meridian – watch their film here: Thousands of Covid vaccines delivered to homeless community in Brighton | ITV News Meridian
Anyone in Hastings who still needs a COVID-19 jab is urged to roll-up their sleeve and become a ‘superstar’ for the day on 12 February .
On ‘Superstar Saturday’ vaccinations will be available at a number of locations in and around the town between 10am-4pm. Everyone aged 12 or over is welcome to come along for a 1st, 2nd or booster jab – no appointment needed! The locations are:
Local NHS and public health staff will be on hand with information and to answer any questions you might have about the vaccine. We will have two dedicated information stalls outside the former Debenhams store, 1-3 Robertson Street, Hastings TN34 3AD, and in Kings Road / Cross Street, Central St Leonards TN37 6DX.
Dr David Fox, local GP and clinical director of Hastings and St Leonards Primary Care Network said: “We’ve already vaccinated thousands of people in the Hastings area and this special day will help give anyone who still needs either a first, second or booster dose the chance to get theirs at one of seven pop-ups across the town. It promises to be a really great event and my vaccination team is looking forward to working alongside colleagues from other local organisations to ensure our communities receive this vital protection.”
Cllr Kim Forward, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “Superstar Saturday is a chance for anyone who hasn’t yet had all their COVID-19 vaccinations to have their jab. If you are worried or have questions there will be trained professionals on hand to answer questions and give more information. Having all doses of the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, so I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated.”
Vaccination teams across West Sussex are increasing the number of mobile and pop up vaccination sessions to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to have their COVID-19 vaccination.
The aim of this work is to both make it as easy for people as possible to get their jab or to get advice, and to visit specific communities where there may be hesitancy or barriers to accessing the vaccine.
In terms of community sessions, there has been an increase in mobile clinics across Crawley to visit local communities and support them with information and advice.
A walk in session is also taking place in Worthing Town Centre this Saturday to catch shoppers and people visiting the town.
This week, there have also been specialist clinics for people who are experiencing homelessness in Bognor Regis and Chichester.
And the team at Alliance for Better Care have been out to visit Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Mary – pictured above – told the team she felt very comfortable with the team visiting her and appreciated them coming to the site rather than travelling to the vaccination site.
More outreach work like this continues over the coming weeks to ensure everyone has the opportunity of a vaccination.
Special clinics are continuing this week for children aged between 5 and 11 who are most at risk of COVID-19.
Children aged 5 -11 who are in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is in immunosuppressed are now able to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine.
Eligible children include those with diabetes, immunosuppression, learning disabilities, and other conditions as outlined by the UK Health Security Agency in the Green Book.
Parents and guardians should wait for the NHS to contact them for when it is their child’s turn to get the life-saving vaccine.
GP led teams have been identifying eligible children ahead of vaccinations starting – and are starting to contact families either directly or via the team providing their COVID-19 vaccination service.
All eligible 5-11 year olds will be offered two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer vaccine eight weeks apart – a third of the amount used for adult vaccinations.
Some clinics are taking extra steps to put this group of children at ease – like Frozen’s Elsa visiting East Grinstead’s vaccination service last week.
Families are encouraged to get their 12 to 15 year olds vaccinated ahead of half term at the end of the month.
Over the days ahead, hundreds appointments are available for 12 to 15 year olds searching for their COVID-19 vaccination.
The appointments, available at vaccination services, can be booked through the national booking website or by calling 119.
There are appointments every single day and at a range of locations across our communities.
There are also walk-in sessions taking place specifically for anyone aged between 12 and 15 to receive their first or second COVID-19 vaccination. No appointment is needed at these sessions and families (including a consenting parent) can simply turn up, receive advice and information, and vaccination.
Both of these options is in addition to sessions that are taking place in every secondary school in Sussex to offer vaccinations to teenagers. Families will receive direct communications from schools to share the dates and consent forms for these sessions. The schools vaccination team is also planning catch up sessions for half term and these will be shared again via schools.
For more information on vaccinations for 12 – 15 year olds, go to the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.
Have you visited a mobile vaccination unit to have your COVID-19 vaccination in Brighton and Hove? If you have had either your 1st, 2nd or booster dose at a mobile unit such as the converted ambulance then please share your experience in our short survey to help the NHS improve and shape these services for the future.
Everyone who has used the mobile vaccination service and completes the survey can be entered into a prize draw for the chance to receive a £20 shopping voucher. If you would like to be entered in the draw, please provide your contact details at the end of the survey.
This survey is only for people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine using one of the Mobile Vaccination Services and does not include the larger main services in the city.
The NHS COVID Pass is being extended for fully vaccinated 12-15 year olds for international travel only. Young people can now get the digital version of the NHS COVID Pass as well as a letter version for international travel.
To get a digital NHS COVID Pass for travel you need one of the following:
To be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine used in the UK
The NHS COVID Pass is usually available within 24 hours of having your vaccination, but it can take up to 5 days for your records to be updated.
A positive NHS PCR test within the past 6 months (not available in the Isle of Man)
The NHS COVID Pass is available after you’ve finished self-isolating and up to 180 days after taking the test. This applies to NHS tests sent by post, or done at walk-in sites, drive-through sites or hospitals.
A number of countries across the world now require children aged 12-15 to be able to provide proof of double vaccination before they will allow entry.
The digital version will allow more families to be able to access evidence of their children’s vaccination quickly and easily. Please do not contact your GP practice for a NHS COVID Pass.
For more information, please visit the NHS website – Getting a digital NHS COVID Pass – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Local GP Federation, Alliance for Better Care (ABC), has expressed its thanks to the Apple Tree Centre team and all at the Gurjar Hindu Union after it hosted its final vaccination clinic at the site.
ABC began working in partnership with the team at the Hindu Temple in early 2021, when it became the first site to host ABC’s vaccination bus. Soon after this, the Leacroft Medical Practice team relocated its vaccination programme to the site long-term and have since administered 100,000 Covid and flu vaccinations at the venue.
They gave particular thanks to Bharat Lukka and his team, who not only helped to establish the site and welcomed ABC, but also catered for the staff attending each day.
Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, stakeholder 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.