NHS Vaccination Programme update
As you are aware, we have been holding regular meetings with our NHS colleagues so that we can be regularly updated on the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the district. We had a really positive meeting on Friday and have lots of information to share with you, which you can find below. We hope that you find this useful and will continue to share updates with you as we receive it.
Vaccinations for the over 80s and care homes
- The first bit of good news is that by the end of last week, all residents in care homes for older people in the district have been vaccinated, unless they have recently had an outbreak of Covid. When an outbreak occurs, the NHS has to wait 28 days before they can deliver the vaccination to those care homes affected. Any care home located in the district that has not been completed will be re-visited as soon as possible.
- Further to this, by the end of this week (w/c 25 Jan), the vast majority of those 80 and over in the district will have been vaccinated. Anyone who has not yet been contacted, or has been unwell and not been able to attend an appointment, will remain on the list and will be contacted at the first opportunity.
- Those who are housebound and unable to leave their home will receive their vaccination through the ‘roving service’ which has also been used to vaccinate those in care homes.
- If you are a carer to someone who is housebound, you can be vaccinated at the same time as the person you are caring for. This will be arranged when the NHS contact you.
- Please wait to be contacted for your appointment and do not contact your GP.
- At the moment, data on how many people have been vaccinated is published nationally. This has started to be published at Sussex level and it is expected to be broken down further in the coming weeks. At the moment, you can access the figures here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/
- The GP-led vaccination sites in the South of the district, located in Selsey and Tangmere, have been very active and are making good progress. More than 3,000 over 80s will have been vaccinated by the end of last week (w/c 18 Jan).
In the North of the District, we have the Pulborough site, which has been operating for the past couple of weeks and Midhurst, which started vaccinating last week. They have also been making great progress and they hope to move onto the over 70s priority group this week. Petworth Surgery is also expected to offer the vaccination shortly.
- The NHS has listened really carefully to the concerns raised by residents in Chichester and they are currently exploring alternative sites that could be used. Identifying and then getting a site approved is complex and has to be approved by NHS England, but they hope to be in a position to update us on this very soon. One of the reasons why some sites were not considered in the first instance is because they were not available to use in the long term. However, the current situation has changed this and provided the NHS with further options.
- This week, a large vaccination centre will be launched in Brighton. Residents in the district who are still due to receive their vaccine, may be invited to have their vaccination in Brighton, Epsom Racecourse or at a Hampshire site. If you do not want to travel to one of these sites, or are unable to do so, you can wait until your local GP-led vaccination service is able to vaccinate you. All vaccination centres work from one central booking system – so that all of those involved in the vaccination programme can see if someone has been vaccinated or not, and when they are due to receive their second dose.
- You may also be aware that some pharmacists will shortly be offering the vaccine, including one site in Midhurst. The approval of pharmacists as vaccine providers has been carried out at a national level by NHS England. It is expected that the Midhurst pharmacy will go live later this week with appointments being made available through the national booking system (the same as the large vaccination centres.) More pharmacies are expected to join the programme in the coming weeks and we will work with our NHS colleagues to share this as soon as it is confirmed.