Key messages

We all have an important part to play:

  • please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you;
  • when you are contacted, please attend your booked appointments;
  • once you have had your first vaccination you will receive a further appointment to receive the second dose, and
  • please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

For straightforward steps to keep yourself and others safe and get help if you need it, visit www.keepsussexsafe.uk   

Scam Alert

We are aware that some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. 

People are warned to be alert to these scams. 

The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. At present, appointments are only being offered to the public over 80 years old, care home residents, and staff. 

The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • NEVER ask for payment or for your bank details.

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.

 

Rollout of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

Three vaccines have been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA):

- Developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, the UK has ordered 40 million doses, enough to vaccinate up to a third of the population, and the majority of doses anticipated in the first half of 2021. 

- The Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine which the the UK has ordered 100 million doses of. Read more about this vaccine by clicking here

- Moderna.  This works in a similar way to the Pfizer one that is already being offered on the NHS. Supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring however. The UK has now pre-ordered 17 million doses.

Other vaccines are in different stages of development, and it is hoped that others may also be approved for use.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine began its roll out on Monday 4th January 2021. Initially this will be in hospitals only to allow medical professionals to observe the first doses. After that, roll out will be extended.

All three vaccines will be given in two doses. 

 

How effective are the vaccines?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has indicated:

  • Short-term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is calculated at around 90%

  • Short-term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is calculated at around 70%, with high protection against severe disease

  • The vaccines offer considerable protection after the first dose has been given, but full protection should begin 7-10 days after the second dose.

 

Who will get the vaccine?

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

Vaccinations are being prioritised, with those most at risk of complications from COVID-19 being offered the vaccine first. A phased roll out is underway, which will take time. Local services are working out how to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible, but timing will be dependent on manufacturing timescales and supply.

The Government has published more information about how groups will be prioritised here.

This priority list is as follows:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over

  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorised in those aged 16 years and over, and the AstraZeneca vaccine is only authorised for use in those aged 18 years and over. This group also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. 
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

This follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Information about the roll-out in Easyread format is available in this Keep Safe poster which also shows the priority list. Mencap has produced an Easy read guide about the coronavirus vaccine and what we know about it so far

When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.

 

How will the Covid-19 vaccine be rolled out in Brighton and Hove?

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

The NHS is planning to deliver the vaccination programme in three main ways:

Vaccinations are taking place in

  • Hospital hubs
  • GP led vaccination services
  • Roving service to care homes and housebound
  • Planning for large vaccination services

Hospital hubs

Hospital hub vaccination services in Sussex were launched at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on 8th December 2020. Teams at the hospital have been vaccinating those over the age of 80 who were attending the hospital and health and care staff, including care home staff. Further to the hospital hub in Brighton, five more are now live across Sussex including St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. Princess Royal Hospital became one of the first in the country to use the new AstraZeneca vaccine this week.

GP-led services

GP-led vaccination services are where the majority of the current population are being offered their vaccinations. In total in Sussex there are 15 sites which have gone live to date. In the majority, each service is supported by a number of GP practices working together to vaccinate their collective population. In Brighton and Hove, one GP-led vaccination service supported by 4 GP practices went live at the St Augustine’s Arts & Events Centre before Christmas.

Three further Primary Care Networks will soon be live at two sites: Portslade Health Centre and County Oak Medical Centre. These are being supported by the following GP practices: Portslade Health Centre: Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub, Hove Medical Centre, Links Road Surgery, Portslade Health Centre, Wish Park Surgery, Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre, Charter Medical Centre, and Trinity Medical Centre.

Discussions are underway with additional GP practices.

A full list of sites is available here.   

Please DO NOT contact your GP surgery.  You will be contacted when it is your turn to receive the vaccine. More information about GP vaccinations is available here.

If you have not yet been approached about having the Covid-19 vaccination, please read the information: why you are being asked to wait

Prioritisation of care homes

The approval of the Oxford vaccine, which is much easier to transport, means that we will now be able to vaccinate in many more care homes much more quickly.

The first eight homes were vaccinated at the end of December 2020, including Brighton and Hove’s largest Care home, Maycroft Manor. In Brighton and Hove there are 92 homes and those with 50 residents will be prioritised:

  • Birch Grove Nursing Home
  • Blind Veterans UK
  • Dean Wood Care Home
  • Lindridge
  • Middleton Grove Nursing Home

More about the roll-out 

The NHS started the first stage of the vaccine rollout in Hospital Hubs. This is mainly because the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees Centigrade, which makes it difficult to use outside of hospital settings.

The vaccination programme will be expanding over the coming weeks and months as more vaccine becomes available. This will include:

  • More hospital hubs
  • More GP-led local vaccination services
  • Establishing larger vaccination centres
  • A roving services to take the vaccine into care homes and people’s own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site.

Further information on the vaccination programme will be updated on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Website.