Booster Vaccine update
I thought it would be useful to pass on some of the headlines from the CCG briefing to West Sussex MPs about the vaccine roll-out from last Friday.
- There are currently around 807,000 people eligible for the vaccination across West Sussex, that is all 16 cohorts aged from 12 up. So far 84% have had their first jab and 78% have had both jabs but remember that at the moment children under 16 are only being offered a first jab subject to further advice from the JCVI committee.
- Of those around 223,000 people are eligible for a booster jab and the uptake is so far 56.7% but again remember that many people have yet to be invited for a jab depending on when the 6 month and 1 week gap from their second jab comes up.
- When your gap has expired you should either receive a message by email or text to book online at one of the mass vaccination centres including Churchill Square Brighton, Crawley and Chichester, or you can wait to be contacted by your local surgery and summoned for a jab at a local centre where you probably had your earlier jabs. Availability of appointments changes daily as new capacity is made available so if your preferred vaccination centre does not come up online then keep trying on subsequent days
- Most booster jabs are being done with the Pfizer vaccine which is not as flexible as the Astra Zeneca variety and that is posing some challenges especially with home and care home visits. There is also a good stock of Moderna vaccine available especially at the Churchill Square centre. All housebound people due a vaccine should have had a visit by December 5th although it is likely that a few people in more remote rural areas may have to wait a little longer
- The Government national target is to have 80% of the eligible population given the booster jab by December 17th. After a slow start things have been picking up considerably and in West Sussex we are on target to achieve this level of coverage.
- The uptake amongst children aged 12-16 is behind schedule despite a big push of vaccinators visiting secondary schools and additional capacity available in the community during the recent half-term. The Government national target is 60% by December 17th but we are currently only at 40% and so do encourage parents with children in the 12-15 age group to have their jab.
- There has been a good uptake of the flu jab too with the highest numbers amongst the over 65’s. There has been a surge in bookings with over 133,000 appointments booked across Sussex for the next 4 weeks as a result of which it is taking longer to book a flu jab due to supply shortages but do persevere.
- We also discussed the pressures on GP surgeries which remain severe but apparently in Sussex we are the 12th most improved area nationally for increasing face to face appointments which represent 675 of all consultations with GPs at the moment. There were 460,000 GP appointments across West Sussex and that has improved significantly since but will remain under pressure for some time to come. I have a roundtable meeting with GPs from all the surgeries across my constituency later this month to discuss the state of play and I will publish a special report back with more information after that.
I hope this is helpful