Given the recent rollout of the booster jabs for COVID giving rise to a number of queries from constituents I thought it might be helpful to revive my vaccine updates which I know many of you found useful earlier on this year. Local MPs have continued to receive updates from the local CCG, the County Council and others and I will pass on relevant information to constituents as appropriate.
A number of constituents have written to me complaining that they can only book booster jabs at the mass vaccination centres like Brighton Churchill Square and Chichester and that is not convenient for travel. However, the GP led vaccination centres will remain as before. You will automatically be contacted to invite you to book in to attend, soon after the 6 months and a week gap is up from your original second vaccination. There has been some speculation in the press that the gap may be reduced to 5 months in due course but as its stands at the moment you will not be invited to attend until at least 182 days have passed.
These services are based at the places below for the patients registered at the GP practices across Adur and Worthing as follows:
Lancing Parish Hall, for patients at:
- New Pond Row Surgery
- Ball Tree Surgery
- The Orchard Surgery
Northbourne Medical Centre, for patients at:
- Adur Health Partnership
- (Harbour View Healthcare)
- (Northbourne Medical Centre)
- (The Manor Practice)
Strand Medical Group, for patients at:
- Cornerway’s Surgery
- Selden Medical Group
- Strand Medical Group
- Worthing Medical Group
Durrington Health Centre, for patients at:
- Barn Surgery
- Lime Tree Surgery (Phoenix)
Charmandean Centre, for patients at:
- Broadwater Medical Centre
- St Lawrence Surgery
- Victoria Road Surgery
They are being delivered by the GP Federation in this area, rather than the GP practice teams themselves in most cases, and so the teams on site in a surgery may not be directly involved in the running of them.
For each of the services listed above the service teams will contact people directly as they reach six months and a week (182 days) – they are not available via the national booking system website and phone number. The services listed on the national booking system direct to the vaccination centres, which are in Chichester and Brighton as well as others.
The letters being sent out centrally do invite people to use the national booking system but also say that they will be contacted by their local service, and the CCG is coordinating local communications to reinforce this. You should also be aware that there is a free transport offer for anyone who cannot get to their appointment. To book free travel people are asked to please book their vaccination appointment or have confirmed plans to attend a walk-in session first, and then they can call 01444 275 008 to speak to a travel coordinator. The booking service is available between 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Monday to Friday.
Currently all the 9 priority cohorts identified in the original vaccination roll-out will qualify for the booster jab, that is those above 50, those with certain clinical conditions making them more vulnerable and all NHS and care staff. A decision will be made later on everyone else but obviously they will be some way off reaching the 6-month threshold.
In addition to the mass vaccination centres and the GP led centres listed above the local CCG is rolling out some walk-in centres where those who qualify for a vaccination will just be able to turn up with proof they are now eligible if that is more convenient. These are currently operating at Chichester, Crawley and Haywards Heath for example, but none is currently available in Worthing and Adur although that should change soon. There will also be a big increase in local pharmacies offering booster vaccination too.
As regards those teenagers aged between 12-15 most have been able to access vaccinations at school with parental consent. So far, the CCG teams have visited over 60 schools across Sussex and vaccinated over 9000 young people. Home schooled children have also been contacted to arrange jabs. Across Sussex so far over 15% of eligible young people have had the jab and that figure needs to improve. So far only 17% of this age bracket have proactively declined the vaccination. Given the current high infection rate amongst school age children many will have to delay having their jab as you need to be 28 days clear of a positive COVID PCR test.
However to make it easier for young people to access the vaccine, particularly during half-term the CCG has launched a Textline for healthy 12-15 year olds wishing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – or those wanting to find out more about it.
The Textline will give them access to expert advice from registered healthcare professionals; and this will include providing information to them on consent issues and process.
This is a service for 12-15 year olds only so the team will not provide advice to parents, carers and legal guardians regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The service can be accessed by texting 07312277727.
The team will not provide advice to parents, carers and legal guardians regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, there are existing pathways in place that will manage these enquires, namely the COVID-19 Vaccination General Enquires:
- Telephone: 0800 433 4545 (open 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday)
- Email: email@example.com.
The Textline will be managed using a web-based platform called ChatHealth.
ChatHealth is a secure and confidential text messaging service used by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust School Nursing Teams.
As regards those in residential care homes and people unable to leave home, mobile teams are available to visit as previously. There is also no problem with supply this time and the jabs can be administered just as soon as people book up available slots. Again, we are very grateful to all the NHS professionals who are working hard to roll out the programme and the many volunteers who have come forward to help out. When you do turn up for your booster jab please do show your appreciation. From volunteering myself at the Lancing Parish Hall I know how well this goes down. The vaccine type being most commonly used this time is Pfizer, whether or not you had Pfizer the first time round.
Further useful links have been provided by the Sussex CCG here:
Walk in services
We are uploading walk in services to our website on a daily basis. The latest information is available here: Walk-in vaccination sessions - Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)
Locations of booster services
Please find the list of all of the services and their corresponding GP practices here: West Sussex vaccination services - Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)
We are also developing maps with the vaccination centres, pharmacies and GP led services and will share these as soon as possible.
There is updated the information on the 12-17 page about the schools immunisations and also the use of the NBS. This includes a detailed FAQ: Vaccinations for children and young people aged 12 to 17 - Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)
This includes a video we have made explaining how 12-15 year olds can get their vaccine: https://youtu.be/MwKzNOiIOYs
There is a video about the booster and flu: Can I have my COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine at the same time? - YouTube
Nationally this may also be helpful Winter Vaccines Explained – with Dr Amir Khan, Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Karan Ranj - YouTube
I hope this is helpful. If there are any outstanding questions you have please do let me know and I will see what I can find out for you if you are a constituent.