NHS Vaccination Programme update

As you are aware, we are having regular meetings with our NHS colleagues on the progress of the vaccination programme in the Chichester District. Please find the key points that were covered in this week’s meeting below.

Vaccinations for the over 80s

As of Friday 29 January 2021:

  • 90.4% of the over 80s in the North of the district had received their first dose of the vaccine – which amounts to over 7,500 vaccinations.
  • 75% of the over 80s in the South of the district had received the first dose of the vaccine – which amounts to over 6,600 vaccinations. Excellent progress has been made considering the GP-led centres in the South of the district have only been running for two weeks.

Our NHS colleagues are currently on course to meet the targets set by Government. By the end of the weekend, these figures will have increased significantly because of the appointments that are due to take place over the next few days.

If you are over 80 and have yet to be contacted, do not worry, you will be contacted by your local GP-led vaccination service.

Vaccination deliveries

These occur twice a week at each GP-led vaccination site. This is co-ordinated nationally by NHS England. The sites then determine their opening hours and days. In some cases, although it may appear that a site is only open on certain days further vaccinations may also be taking place in additional clinics. This all depends on the delivery that is sent through.

The good news is that the vast majority of people are turning up for their vaccinations and all sites are also referring to their reserve lists when this doesn’t happen.

Some people have asked why some large sites seem to have unlimited supplies, while others receive smaller amounts. Although it may appear this way, the volume sent to each site is based on their capacity and needs. We have been assured that there are no issues on supplies for the district.

Vaccination sites

Conversations are ongoing about introducing a high volume site in the centre of Chichester. Our NHS colleagues are exploring a number of sites, and the final decision will be agreed with NHS England. They believe that they are very close to resolving this and are hopeful that a decision will be made on this over the next week. If given the go-ahead, they believe that a central site can be opened rapidly.

The NHS has to ensure there are the staff requirements for the site and this is one of most important elements being agreed.

When identifying suitable sites, the NHS has to meet certain criteria. This includes: digital access, flooring, floor space, the potential flow of people in and out of the site, availability of parking, location in terms of traffic building up and space for staff. They also need to consider the volume of vaccinations that can take place at a centre.

National booking system

If you are aged over 70, you may receive a letter from the national booking system inviting you to attend one of the large vaccination sites within 60 miles of your home, or one of the approved pharmacies (in our case, this is in Midhurst).

It’s really important to note that you do not have to accept this invitation, and you can wait for your GP-led vaccination centre to contact you.

This is an extra opportunity to access the vaccine, providing you with the option of accessing your vaccination quicker if you want to. If you decide to ignore the letter, there is no need to worry as you will still be contacted by your local GP-led vaccination centre.

Sheltered housing

Our NHS colleagues have been contacting residents in sheltered accommodation to see if they can travel to one of the GP-led vaccination centres for their vaccination. However, if they can’t manage to get to one of the centres, then one of the NHS roving teams will come out to them directly.