Sussex reaches milestone of one million COVID-19 vaccinations
Today, the NHS announced the landmark of delivering one million first dose vaccinations for COVID-19 in Sussex, with 90% of our most vulnerable residents (in cohorts 1 to 9) receiving their jab.
Healthwatch East Sussex recognises the scale of the effort that has enabled this milestone to be reached in such a short time. It is a testament to the collaboration between NHS providers, call centre staff, transport services and the health professionals, vaccinators and volunteers delivering at sites who have made this possible. Many people may now benefit from the protection that the vaccines offer.
We are aware that the vaccination process will continue for some time yet, and that some people have concerns about receiving a vaccination. Our recent survey in East Sussex made clear that both vaccine recipients and those yet to be vaccinated possess anxieties, both about the safety and long-term impact of the vaccines, together with the ongoing need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. These views were also consistent across nearly 6,000 people in Sussex.
Since vaccinations commenced and following on from our survey findings, we have been calling for clear, robust and objective information and evidence on the COVID-19 vaccines so that the public may make informed decisions about participating in the vaccination process. Seeking clear and consistent messaging remains our priority.
We have provided information through our Vaccination Hub and responded to enquiries received by our Information and Signposting service. Some of our staff and volunteers have supported the Sussex Vaccination Enquiry Line, whilst others have been directly involved at vaccination sites. This has allowed us to capture and develop an understanding of the different views and opinions on vaccinations.
We will continue to feed this intelligence and insight into the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Board and East Sussex Vaccine Health Inequality Oversight Group. Our goal is to ensure that the views of all residents in our county are considered and responded to.
Healthwatch East Sussex will continue to monitor the vaccination process and seek feedback from the public. Please share your vaccination experience or views on vaccines with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.