(Reposted from Tim Loughton MP website)
Getting jabbed in Worthing and Adur
A number of constituents have been writing to me worried that they have not yet been contacted about attending a local surgery for their vaccination. That is why I have included a ‘Vaccination’ section on my website which I will keep updated as quickly as I am given the information. Yesterday all the West Sussex MPs were given a briefing by the Sussex Community NHS Trust which is responsible for rolling out the vaccine across the whole of Sussex and I have set out the toplines below.
As I have said before, our Trust appears very well organised and have been preparing for the roll-out of the vaccine just as soon as it is made available, so please avoid ringing up your local surgery asking when you are going to be called, and certainly do not just turn up there. They are at the mercy of the supply lines and they have their work cut-out as it is. If you are registered with a GP, you will be contacted. Everyone just needs to be patient.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was only made available to GP surgeries from Thursday whilst the Pfizer vaccine was in more limited supply before Christmas and could only be distributed to a limited number of surgeries, mostly in the north of the county, because of the stringent requirements to be kept at ultra-low temperature and limited life-span. As regulators approved a way for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be transported in smaller batches, the Trust began the process of delivering it in care homes for older people, with the first homes vaccinated in the week of 29 December 2020. The vaccine cannot be split into batches of less than 75, and cannot be transported between homes, so delivery began at larger care homes.
Most people in West Sussex will be vaccinated at GP led surgeries or vaccination centres, as well as hospital hubs, mass vaccination centres and care homes by a ‘roving service’ that will also support people who are housebound.
- By the end of next week all 80 GP practices across West Sussex will have been covered with the vaccine. Many are grouping together to from vaccine ‘hubs’ where it is easier and safer to operate so you may not be invited for a jab at your own GP surgery.
- NHS staff at Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals have been receiving the Pfizer vaccination since before Christmas and should all be vaccinated this month. Vaccinators are working through care homes and care home staff as the top priority group and you can see the full priority group table on my website. As at yesterday, nationally over 1.5 million of our most vulnerable and NHS and care staff have been vaccinated already. That is more than the whole of Europe put together and per capita just behind the US, UAE, Bahrain and Israel which has stolen a march on everyone.
- As vaccine supplies increase the Government will review whether any groups of people such as teachers or police officers should be prioritised, and I have supported some of the suggestions being made. But at the moment priority is based on the oldest and most vulnerable groups who constitute 85% of the fatalities to date. AS you will have seen the plan is to cover those top 4 categories by the middle of February and everything is being done to make that happen.
- It is the intention ultimately to make the vaccine available to all adults who want it but not routinely children. Pfizer is licenced for over 16’s and Oxford/AstraZeneca only to over 18’s anyway.
- All sites are aiming to operate 8am-8pm but there is an ambition to be able to operate some 24-hour facilities when enough of the vaccine becomes available. This is something I raised with ministers in the Commons earlier this week as I know there are volunteers who have been recruited to help with jabs who would do odd night shifts and certainly if you are given the option of attending at 4am for a jab or waiting another month I would certainly make myself available!
- The Community Trust has so far recruited 360 volunteers to help with the jabs including from recently retired clinicians and cabin crew staff from Gatwick. Of these 250 have so far been trained and cleared to work. They could still do with more and you can see how to volunteer on their website at https://www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm. The more additional people they recruit the more their existing staff can carry on run their non-COVID services.
- There are 4 large ‘mass’ vaccination sites planned across Sussex going live as follows: Brighton - live likely w/c25th Jan, Crawley - live likely w/c 1st Feb, Bognor TBC, Bexhill TBC. Plus, an active opportunity at Gatwick Airport is being fully explored.
To date there are 13 sites in West Sussex which have started vaccinating their patients who are over the age of 80. Locally these are:
- Lancing Parish Hall – expected to go live week beginning 11 January 2021 – covering: New Pond Row Surgery Ball Tree Surgery The Orchard
- Shoreham Northbourne Medical Centre, covering: Harbour View Healthcare The Manor Practice
- Strand Medical Group, covering: Cornerway’s Surgery Selden Medical Group Worthing Medical Group
- Durrington Health Centre, covering: Barn Surgery Lime Tree Surgery
- St Lawrence Surgery – expected to go live week beginning 11 January 2021, covering: Broadwater Medical Centre St Lawrence Surgery Victoria Road Surgery
As I have said there will be many more centres coming online in the next few days which will cover Southwick and Fishersgate and other parts of Adur for example. But in areas where GP practices have not signed up to the Enhanced Service to lead the vaccination programme, the vaccination taskforce is working with the Primary Care Networks and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to provide a service to these patients instead. Final details are being confirmed.
Each site that has gone live or is going live this week had an initial delivery of vaccine with 975 doses to provide the first vaccination to their patients. Some have ordered further supplies and have completed a second session of first doses to their patients. This will now be an ongoing process with the sites ordering vaccine and inviting in more of their over 80 registered population.
The Government guidance on the timing of the second dose has been updated and is now over a 12-week period. Sussex vaccination services will be working to adhere to the guidance and invite their patients back for their second dose in the 12-week period. Given that all 4 Chief Medical Officers across the UK and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have approved this approach I do not think that is unreasonable.
As the Sussex Community Trust rolls out vaccines, a key reminder of 3 things:
1.The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact your GP beforehand.
2. Please act on your invite when it comes. I will certainly be taking up my vaccine when I am called
3. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.
PLEASE ventilate rooms and Covid workspaces too.
You DO NOT need to pay for this service-please see my scam update on this link below. You will be contacted by YOUR GP.
More details here with lots of FAQs: https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/.../sussex-covid.../...
Oh and contrary to one bit of misinformation going round there is not a shortage of glass vials to contain the vaccine and most come in 10 dose bottles in any case.