Vaccinations for COVID-19: The approach in East Sussex

The NHS in Sussex is making good progress with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and has now delivered more than one million first dose vaccinations.

When will I get a vaccination?

Vaccinations are being prioritised, with those most at risk of complications from COVID-19 being offered the vaccine first. It follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Vaccinations are currently being given to:

  • people aged 23 and over
  • people who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • eligible health and social care workers
  • unpaid carers
  • If you are aged 23 and over you can book your jab online now through the national booking service or by calling 119 free of charge. These appointments will be at large vaccination centres or community pharmacy-led sites.
  • Alternatively, if it is difficult for you to get to one of the larger sites, you may have your vaccine at a GP-led service.
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and haven’t been vaccinated yet, please book online through the national booking service or by phone on 119, or contact your GP-led service.
  • If you are aged 16-65 and have underlying health conditions such as severe asthma, diabetes or lung disease, you will be contacted to arrange your vaccination at your local GP-led vaccination service. See more information about the ‘at risk’ group. Note that those in the ‘at risk’ group are not currently able to book online or by phone and must await their invitation.
  • If you are an unpaid or informal carer, aged 18 or over, who is in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, or if you are already registered as a carer by your GP, you can book your appointment right away at one of the larger vaccination centres through the national booking service or by calling 119. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted for an appointment by your local GP-led vaccination service. If you are registered with the GP as a carer for a person who is eligible because of an underlying health condition, you might be offered appointments together. If you are a young carer aged 16-18, please wait to be contacted by your local GP as they will need to arrange for you to receive the Pfizer vaccine. If you are a carer who is not in receipt of Carers Allowance or registered as a carer by your GP, more information will be available shortly on how you will be identified and invited for vaccination.
  • If you are considered housebound, you will have your vaccination at home. Your local GP-led service will contact you to arrange this.
  • If you are an eligible health or social care worker, see the workforce vaccinations page on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership site for more information.

If you are not in the groups described above, you will be contacted at a later date once you become eligible.

When booking online, please provide your email address or mobile number to receive confirmation of your appointment.  Please also note your reference number, as you must have this should you need to change your appointment.

Second doses

Second doses are being scheduled up to twelve weeks after the first. It is really important that people get both doses to get the greatest benefit from the vaccine.

If you don’t already have your date for your second dose, please be patient. Unless you have already booked both doses through the national booking service, you must have your second dose at the same place that you received your first. They will contact you to arrange your appointment, but this may not happen until around ten weeks after your first appointment.

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?

When it is your turn to be vaccinated you will receive an invitation from your GP practice or the NHS, and in some cases you may be contacted in both ways.

Where you get your vaccination will depend on whether you accept an invitation from your GP practice or book through the national booking service.

Please remember that the lockdown rules allow you to get a lift from a family member or friend to your medical appointments. 

Booking through GP practices

If you are invited by your GP practice, you will be given an appointment at a local vaccination site at a specific date and time. If you cannot make this you can explore alternative appointment dates/times.

Locations of GP-led local vaccination services across East Sussex are available here.

Booking through the national booking service

If you receive a vaccination invitation from the NHS this will allow you to book online through the national booking service or by phoning on 119.

You will be able to select the vaccination centre that you attend, as well as the time and date of your vaccination appointment. Please be aware that the availability of appointments at different sites may vary.

Vaccination centres are available to those living up to 60 miles from each site. Sussex has vaccination centres at:

  • Eastbourne: the former Mothercare building
  • Ore: Laycock Pharmacy
  • Rye: Pharmacy
  • Ticehurst: Ticehurst Pharmacy
  • Brighton: Brighton Centre
  • Chichester: Westgate Leisure Centre
  • Crawley: Crawley Hospital
  • Midhurst: Midhurst Pharmac

Further information on the vaccination programme in East Sussex is regularly updated on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Website.

When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The NHS has told us that individuals will be contacted directly when it is their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Until you are contacted:

  • Please be patient and do not contact or visit any NHS services seeking a COVID-19 vaccine until you receive a letter or text from NHS providers.
  • Please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.

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

Beware of Vaccination Scams!

Scammers have already sought to piggy-back on the Covid-19 vaccination programme and people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages. So please be alert and vigilant!

The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn.

The NHS will NEVER ask for payment or for your bank details.

Please be assured that even if you don’t respond to a genuine vaccination message because you are worried it could be fraudulent, you will remain on the invitation list and be contacted again.

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.

What Healthwatch East Sussex is doing

We are working with the local NHS and other services to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination programme in East Sussex. This includes helping them to clearly communicate what is happening to local people and making them aware of any questions or issues that arise.

Please tell us send us any questions that you may have and we will seek to help answer them.

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