Covid19 - Update No2 February 2021

Published: 19 Feb 2021

Group 5 – over 65s 

Over 65s started receiving invitation letters this week and booking for this group went live on Friday evening.  There is a slight change to the process from before, in that those in group 5 are invited to book via the national booking service for an appointment at a mass vaccination centre or community pharmacy-led site, either online viahttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or by telephone by calling 119, and they do not have to wait for the letter to book.  Importantly, it would seem that this group will not be contacted by the local GP-led services, though they can have an appointment via the local GP-led services if they do not wish to or cannot attend a mass vaccination centre or pharmacy.  However, we are seeking clarification as to how people can access this; we don’t want to tell people to contact their GP surgery unnecessarily.

So, for now, people can book via the national service, but if they do want a vaccination more local to them, we are hoping to get clarification soon.

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Group 6 – ‘at risk’ and informal carers: 

If people are unsure as to whether or not they fall into group 6 you can refer to the panel towards the bottom right of the attached poster, which gives examples of the kinds of conditions included. However, it should be pointed out that it is their GP who determines whether they are in this group, and if people have an issue with this, they must contact their GP practice.  As a general rule (though not exclusively), people who are called each year by their GP for their free flu jab would fall into this group

People ‘at risk’ will be contacted by their local GP-led service from today with an appointment or an invitation to book an appointment.  There are lots of people in this group (around 7million), so not everyone will hear immediately.  
Group 6 are not currently able to book via the national online or 119 system; they must wait for the invitation from their GP-led service.

Carers Information

Eligible adult carers will be contacted via the National Booking System (NBS) to receive an invitation to book vaccination through Vaccination Centres, Community Pharmacy local vaccination services (LVS) or Hospital Hubs, once a list compiled by NHSE/I in conjunction with Local Authorities has been produced.   

Local systems may choose to flex these arrangements based on the needs of their populations and GP-led services should be prepared to administer vaccinations to eligible adult carers who choose to receive vaccination in LVS settings. 

Primary Care Network (PCN) LVSs should also prioritise invitations to carers aged 16 and 17 flagged within their systems to align with their known allocations of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the only currently authorised vaccine under Regulation 174 which can be used for individuals aged 16 and 17.  

Early Years

We are aware that misleading information has been shared nationally on social media which suggests that nursery staff, childminders and other early years workers are currently eligible for vaccination
At present, only those frontline health and social care workers identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) in priority cohort 2 are eligible. This includes those directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support. It does not include those working with children who do not have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19
The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, along with other professional associations, has issued a statement clarifying that the JCVI guidance remains unchanged and that that childcare practitioners are not currently eligible. 

General Update
Yesterday we reached a significant milestone to have offered the vaccination to everyone in the top four priority groups across Sussex. More than 450,000 people have now receiving their first dose vaccination, and this is testament to the hard work of teams in all of our vaccination services and centres.

Today there has been a government announcement that an additional 1.7 million people are expected to be added to the shielded list across the country. Anyone who is being added and who will be asked to shield is expected to receive a letter this week.
Currently around 2.2 million people are currently on the list in England, many of whom were identified for a single reason, such as specific cancers, those on immunosuppression drugs or who have severe respiratory conditions. The additional 1.7 million will bring the number on the list to almost four million.
The shielding scheme was expanded after researchers, led by scientists at Oxford University, developed a new tool to assess whether someone is at risk of severe disease or death. It includes factors such as age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), other health conditions and postcode - which is indicative of levels of deprivation.

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. Please help us to share these so people can get the information they need quickly and easily.
Read the latest FAQs

COVID-19 vaccination programme

https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/

Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/

When and where will I get my jab? 

https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/covid-19-vaccination-sites/

As part of the “When will I get my jab?” public campaign we have produced a series of materials, including a specific animation relating to these letters:

What is a vaccination centre?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izprZWWYe9w

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