Last week people aged 60 to 64 started to receive their invitations to book their COVID jab. Letters will be arriving from the national booking service inviting them to visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 free of charge to arrange their appointment. By following these steps, anyone in this group will be able to book an appointment at the larger vaccination centres or pharmacy led services.
This is a handy guide and can be shared within your communities, networks and organisations.
Across our local area, vaccination services are preparing to offer second doses. While the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gives a good immunity to the virus, two doses are needed to have the best chance of full protection. Second doses are being scheduled up to twelve weeks after the first. It is really important that people get both doses to get the greatest benefit from the vaccine.
If you don't already have your date for your second dose, please be patient. Unless you have already booked both doses through the national booking service, you must have your second dose at the same place that you received your first. They will contact you to arrange your appointment, but this may not happen until around ten to eleven weeks after your first appointment.
The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that people who are in receipt of a Carer's Allowance, or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should now be eligible for vaccination. In Sussex, carers' organisations and local authorities are working together with the NHS to ensure that all registered unpaid adult carers, including parent carers, can access the vaccine.
How do I book my appointment?
If you are a carer, aged 18 or over, who is in receipt of Carer's Allowance, or if you are already registered as a carer by your GP, you can book right away at one of the larger vaccination centres or pharmacy-led services through the national booking service. Book online or by calling 119.
If you are registered as a carer with your GP, you can also wait to be contacted for an appointment by your local GP-led vaccination service if that is more convenient. If you are registered with the GP as a carer for a person who is now eligible because of an underlying health condition, you might be offered appointments together.
If you are a carer aged 16-17, please wait to be contacted by your local GP as they will need to arrange for you to receive the Pfizer vaccine. This is the only vaccine currently licensed for your age group.
If you are a carer who is neither in receipt of Carer's Allowance nor registered as a carer by your GP, but you are registered with one of the local carers' centres (listed below) or your local authority, you will be identified and invited to book your appointment by the national booking service. This is a large, complex, phased process and may take several weeks to implement, so please do not worry if you do not hear straight away.
Register with a carers' organisation
Do you look after a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your support? Many people supporting in this way will not previously have registered as an unpaid carer. If you are not already registered with a carers' organisation, you may wish to do so. Registering with a local carers' organisation means you can get information and support when you need it most. You can also be kept up to date with plans for carers' vaccinations as more details become available.
In West Sussex: Carers Support West Sussex https://www.carerssupport.org.uk/ 0300 0288888
In Brighton & Hove: The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove. Register via Carers Hub or call 01273 977 000 for more information
The COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to be rolled out across our communities.
To date more than 625,485 vaccinations have been delivered across Sussex, including 609,333 first doses
We have vaccinated 83.9% of people 65 and over (cohort 5). This group will receive a letter in the post inviting them to book onto the national booking system to access the vaccination centres or pharmacy led services, or they can wait to be contacted by their GP led service.
As we achieved the milestone in terms of the first stage of the roll out of the programme.
Priority 1 - Residents and staff in a care home for older adults - all older peoples care homes have received first dose vaccinations with the exception of a small remainder of homes who have been deferred due to an outbreak. Vaccinations for these homes have been scheduled.
Priority 2 - People aged 80+ and frontline health and social care workers - the majority of people aged 80 and over in West Sussex have been completed. If anyone has not received their vaccination and would like it please contact your GP led vaccination service or the national booking system as soon as possible. Front line NHS staff have received first dose vaccination and we are working to ensure that remaining care staff vaccinations are completed.
Priority 3 - Aged 75-79. 95.3% of those aged 75-79 have received the first dosevaccination in West Sussex. If you have not received an invite and would like it please contact your GP led vaccination service or the national booking system as soon as possible.
Priority 4 - Aged 70-74 and Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals - 94.2% of those aged 70-74 have received the first dose vaccination. We have identified those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and to date 89.1% have been vaccinated.
Priority 5 - Aged 65 years and over - 85.4% of those have received the first dose vaccination in West Sussex.
The latest official national data on vaccinations has been published today, this data reflects vaccinations up to 4 March 2021.
How Services are Working
There are a number of ways in which the vaccination is being rolled out to our communities:
GP led vaccination services - these include the GP led or community vaccination services, and pharmacy services in some area
Large vaccination centres - each county will have at least one large vaccination centre which will be able to give the vaccine to large numbers of people as more supplies become available. A vaccination centre at Westgate in Chichester is due to go live tomorrow for anyone aged 65 and above and living within 60 miles
Roving service - the vaccine is being taken into care homes and into people's own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site; and
Hospital hubs - larger hospitals across the country have been offering to health and care staff.
The local vaccination services for West Sussex are currently:
Adur and Worthing
Lancing Parish Hall, for patients at:
- Ball Tree Surgery, New Pond Row Surgery, Orchard Surgery Northbourne Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Harbour View Healthcare, Northbourne Medical Centre, The Manor Practice Strand Medical Group, for patients at:
- Cornerways Surgery, Selden Medical Group, Strand Medical Group, Worthing Medical Group
Durrington Health Centre, for patients at:
- Barn Surgery, Lime Tree Surgery (Phoenix) St Lawrence Surgery, for patients at:
- Broadwater Medical Centre, St Lawrence Surgery, Victoria Road Surgery Arun
Angmering Community Centre, for patients at:
- The Coppice and Angmering Medical Centre, Fitzalan Medical Group
Bognor Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Arundel Surgery, Avisford Medical Group, Bersted Green Surgery, Bognor Medical Centre, Flansham Park Health Centre, Grove House Surgery, Maywood Health Care Centre, The Croft Surgery, West Meads Surgery
Westcourt Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Park Surgery, Willow Green Surgery, Westcourt Medical Centre
The Selsey Centre and Tangmere Village Centre, for patients at:
- Cathedral Medical Group, Langley House Surgery, Lavant Road Surgery, Parklands Surgery, Selsey Medical Practice, Southbourne Surgery, Tangmere Medical Centre, Witterings Medical Centre
Pulborough Medical Group, for patients at:
- Pulborough Medical Group, Loxwood Medical Practice Riverbank Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Petworth Surgery, Riverbank Medical Centre Midhurst Pharmacy
Leacroft Surgery, for patients at:
- Bridge Medical Centre, Ifield Medical Practice, Langley Corner Surgery, Leacroft Medical Practice, Southgate Medical Group
Saxonbrook Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Bewbush Medical Centre, Coachmans Medical Practice, Furnace Green Surgery, Gossops Green Medical Centre, Saxonbrook Medical Centre
Poundhill Medical Practice, for patients at:
- Poundhill Medical Practice, Woodlands & Clerklands Partnership
Christ's Hospital Blue Coats, for patients at:
- Cowfold Surgery, Rudgwick Medical Centre, The Courtyard Surgery, Village Surgery
Park Surgery, for patients at:
- Holbrook Surgery, Orchard Surgery, Park Surgery, Riverside Surgery
The Glebe Surgery and Henfield Medical Practice, for patients at:
- Billingshurst Surgery, Henfield Medical Practice, Steyning Health Centre, The Glebe Surgery
Mid Sussex district
Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, for patients in Haywards Health at:
- Dolphins Practice, Newtons Practice, Northlands Wood Surgery, Cuckfield Medical Centre, Lindfield Medical Centre, Ouse Valley Practice
Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, for patients in Burgess Hill at:
- Brow Medical Centre, Meadows Surgery, Mid Sussex Health Care, Park View Health Partnership, Silverdale Practice
Meridian Hall, East Grinstead, for patients at:
- Crawley Down Health Centre, Judges Close Surgery, Moatfield Surgery, Ship Street Surgery
Large vaccination centres
Appointment only vaccinations centres are now available at:
- Westgate Leisure Centre, Chichester
- Crawley Hospital
- The Welcome Building, Eastbourne
- The Brighton Centre
The four centres provide further choice for eligible patients to the local GP-led vaccination services that now cover all patients in Sussex and select pharmacy led services that are also available through the national booking system.
Appointments for four vaccination centres are available through the national booking system. People in the eligible groups, who have not had their vaccination and who live within 60 miles of a service location are receiving letters inviting them to book their vaccination.
People who have received a letter can either use the national booking system to arrange an appointment at a large-scale vaccination centre or pharmacy, or wait to be contacted by their GP led vaccination service (supported by your GP practice) to arrange an appointment.
Roving service (care homes and those who are housebound)
Vaccinations for those who are housebound are underway carried out by GP practice or Primary Care Network teams and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. You will be contacted when an appointment is available.
People are being contacted directly by the team at their GP practice, Primary Care Network or GP led vaccination service to arrange an appointment. Importantly, people will be contacted before a visit is made so that the appointment is confirmed and the person at home is expecting the NHS vaccination team.
At the same time, we understand that people who may be housebound are also receiving a letter from the national booking service inviting them to go online or call the national phone line to book an appointment at one of the vaccination services or pharmacy led services.
Currently the national system cannot distinguish that someone is housebound and so these letters are being sent to all those who are eligible.
If you are housebound and are not able to attend a local vaccination service or centre, please ignore this letter. You are on the list with your GP led vaccination service team and they will contact you - you do not need to call your GP practice or any other team to make an appointment. As soon as an appointment is available you will be contacted directly.
There are now seven hospital hub vaccination services in Sussex focused on the vaccination of health and care staff, including care home staff. Health and care staff will be told by their employer how they can book an appointment at one of the following hubs:
- Conquest Hospital, Hastings
- Eastbourne District General Hospital
- Mill View Hospital, Hove
- Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath
- Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
- St Richards Hospital, Chichester
- Worthing Hospital
Working with our communities
We are working with our diverse communities across Sussex to ensure that people have information about the vaccine, how and when they might be contacted for a vaccination appointment and where they may need to go.
We know that community members are our best methods for sharing information; we now have over 100 Vaccination Champions from communities across Sussex, who play a vital role in ensuring that correct information is shared through their networks and contacts. We also link with many other individuals and groups who liaise with communities to ensure we can reach and hear from as many people as possible.
- Sharing videos about vaccination in community languages, and supporting the production of information in British Sign Language
- Ensuring that we share information about community language and British Sign Language interpretation with our communities and with our vaccination centres and sites
- Working with Carers' support organisations across Sussex to develop bespoke information for unpaid carers
- Liaising with organisations that support people with Learning Disabilities to ensure they have appropriate information
- Liaison with local Faith leaders and groups to cascade information and to answer questions
- Working with organisations that support older people to ensure they are able to pass on information and answer questions
- Asking some of our community and patient groups to help us shape our communications work to make sure it is clear and appropriate
Our team are always happy to attend (virtually) any community meetings to hear people's experiences and answer questions- please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are keen to hear from people about their experience of the vaccination programme, the information you are receiving or not receiving, and your actual experience of having the vaccine - positive experiences and where there need to be improvements.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that people want to know more about the vaccination programme and how it will affect them and their loved ones.
To help us get information out to people and deal with the high volume of enquiries that we are receiving, we are regularly updating our FAQs on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website, to address common questions and queries.
A selection of those questions are below:
Can I get a vaccination if I don't have an NHS number?
Yes. People do not require an NHS number or GP registration to receive a vaccination and should never be denied one on this basis. Local leaders have been asked to take action to ensure this is not the case. If someone does not have an NHS number but is within an eligible group, services have been advised to vaccinate now, record locally via a paper system, and ensure vaccination is formally documented later.
Will the vaccine affect my fertility?
The Royal College of Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives issued a statement on 19 January 2021, saying:
"There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data."
What if I miss my appointment for either dose of the vaccine?
If you miss your appointment the vaccine team will attempt to rebook you, contacting you either by telephone, by letter, or both methods if necessary.