The NHS in Sussex continues to make good progress with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
We are working to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. This is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and it will take time to get it to everyone. The pace of progress depends to a large extent on the availability and supply of the vaccine.
As the vaccine is rolled out there are three important messages for the public:
In Sussex, the vaccine is currently available from a wide number of GP-led local vaccination services and hospital hubs in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex. New sites are added regularly as further vaccine supplies become available. We are also delivering the vaccine in care homes for older people.
The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said that vaccines should first be given to residents and staff in care homes for older people, people aged over 80, and health and care workers, before being rolled out to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.
GP-led local vaccination services are vaccinating local people, starting with those aged over 80. Working together in groups, GP practice teams across Sussex have worked rapidly to prepare, redesign their sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination, supported by nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff.
GP-led local vaccination services and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are visiting care homes for older people to vaccinate residents and staff. We are planning to offer the vaccine in all care homes by mid-February 2021, subject to vaccine supply, with all care homes with residents over 65 years old scheduled for vaccination by the end of January.
Hospital hubs have been vaccinating some people aged over 80 who were already attending hospital for another reason. Now that more local vaccination services are up and running, hospital hubs are focused on vaccinating health and care staff.
In addition, we are expecting the first community pharmacy-led vaccination services in Sussex to come online by the end of January as more vaccine supplies come on stream. High street stores capable of delivering large volumes while allowing for social distancing are initially being selected to give the best geographical spread.
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls, text messages and some face to face calls at the doorstep offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, remember the following points.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.