An Update From Your Vaccination Champion – Andy Miller

My name is Andy Miller, and I am an officially appointed Vaccination Champion (no cloak or flying ability sadly) for Rotherfield by the NHS body co-ordinating the vaccination.

My brief is to try and keep everyone abreast of what is happening with the Covid19 vaccinations in our area.  Please see the update below.

If you have any queries or problems please feel free to contact me,

01892 852389 or 07817 130653

This is just a note to update on the current situation (26.1.21) in Rotherfield regarding the Vaccinations.

Who has been vaccinated?:-

First to note that the Rotherfield population are not all served by the Rotherfield Surgery, some people are served by other surgeries, particularly those in Crowborough. All, however, are in the local CCG group which is operating for vaccination from the Saxonbury Surgery in Crowborough. Because of the way the surgeries operate the invitations for their patients, this means that it may seem that a neighbour or friend is getting their vaccination before you, even if you’re of the same age. Don’t worry, you will get your turn, and sooner than you think.

So it should be that all the over-eighties have now had their first jab, and the over-seventy fives will be having theirs – I’m due on Friday 29th. Then the over-seventies will follow, and all should be done by mid-Feb, and of course, the very vulnerable. Some patients have been delayed because their health condition(s) do not allow, but these will be seen soon. (For example, those using EpiPen’s have to be given a specific type of vaccination.

Care home residents and staff are being offered vaccinations and most have been ‘done’ already. Currently 47 remain to be serviced but are delayed because of outbreaks within the homes.

We do not have a timetable for the other age groups or key workers now.

Where for vaccination?:-

Currently for Rotherfield residents, all vaccinations are being carried out at the Saxonbury Surgery in Croft Road, Crowborough with staffing and cooperation from all the surgeries in our local C.C.G. There are around thirty such surgery centres in Sussex, all providing a relatively local service.

You will be contacted and offered a vaccination, with normally a few days’ notice. You will be asked a few questions and given instructions and a time. If later you cannot keep the appointment, immediately call your surgery.

The car park at the Saxonbury surgery is only for Blue Badge holders, otherwise please park in the car park by Waitrose.

If you are unable to drive, or to be driven to the Saxonbury Surgery, RSM are offering a transport service for any Rotherfield resident for a small set charge of £5. Please call 853021 as soon as you have an appointment to arrange. The driver will require you to wear a mask and some windows will be open in the car.

There are also Hospital Hubs, two currently and two more coming, which provide Health and Care staff vaccinations.

Vaccination Centres are opening up in East Sussex. Brighton Centre, opened Tuesday 26th Jan 2021 and more coming – Crawley and Eastbourne for example. They will be capable of 2,000-5,000 vaccinations per day.

People in the top four priority groups currently eligible to be vaccinated will be invited to get their vaccine at The Brighton Centre. They will book their appointment through a national booking system and will receive their vaccine by teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, who are running the service.

The centre gives those who are eligible another option to receive their vaccine, in addition to their local GP-led vaccination service. While the centre is based in Brighton and Hove, it is available for the wider population across Sussex and beyond (up to sixty miles away).

Vaccination centres are not only much larger than GP-led local vaccination services, the way appointments are booked is also different. While GPs invite their patients to get vaccinated at their local vaccination service, appointments at the vaccination centres are made through the national booking service.

Appointments cannot be booked directly with the Brighton Centre, or through GPs, and residents are asked not to contact the centre or Brighton and Hove City Council directly.

The national NHS booking service will be writing to eligible people living within 60 miles of the Brighton Centre providing them all the details they need to book an appointment online or over the phone.

Anyone receiving a letter from the national booking service can choose whether to book an appointment at the vaccination centre or wait until they are contacted by their GP for an appointment at their local vaccination service if that would be more convenient.

Please note that the second vaccination has to be taken at the same physical place as the first. (This is to fit in with record keeping and deliveries.)

Parking is free for an hour at Brighton in the Number 1 car park behind the Centre, orange section. Use left lane and inform attendant who will verify your ticket for an hour.

We are aware that patients are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system. The letter is labelled only from the NHS and invites you to book your vaccination appointment.  We recognise that these letters are causing confusion.

These letters provide the opportunity to book an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, such as The Brighton Centre, or a local pharmacy service. You cannot book at your GP led or local vaccination service in this way.

All of the services are working alongside each other and provide you with choice of where you receive your vaccination.

If you would like to have your vaccination at your GP led (local) vaccination service, you do not need to do anything and you will be contacted by the team as soon as an appointment is available and just attend the appointment as planned.

If you would like to have your vaccination at one of the larger vaccination centres or local pharmacy services, please follow the instructions in the letter, when it arrives, and use the national system – either online or phone number to book your appointment.

Watch this simple animation which sets out these options

Lastly, there is a Roving Service for housebound and Care-home patients.

Why have the Vaccination?:-

The vaccination will give a level of protection against catching Covid-19. The protection takes time to give effect – 14 to 21 days after the vaccination, and the course of vaccination is not complete until after the second dose (currently in twelve weeks).

None of the current vaccines guarantee 100% protection against infection – most other vaccines are the same, flu for example. But the vaccination, once effective, mean that then the chances of becoming extremely ill and being hospitalised are dramatically reduced – especially crucial for those of us over seventy or vulnerable. This not only helps/saves you but helps to prevent overwhelming the NHS.

And it is safe to have. It is not a live vaccine. You may have some minor discomfort; soreness, headache, but normally nothing more.

If you have had Covid you should still have the vaccination, but not before 28 days

After your vaccination: –

Remember you have little protection until after 14-21 days, so continue to follow the current rules re contact, wearing mask, staying home etc.

It is possible that even after the second vaccination that you could be infected, feel no symptoms, yet be able to infect others. So keep to the lockdown rules extant.

A few extra points/reminders: –

Do not phone your surgery or RSM seeking appointments.

Continue to keep to the lockdown rules and your personal safety considerations after the vaccinations. Do not assume because you may be safe that you cannot infect others.

If you have any queries or problems please feel free to contact me,

01892 852389 or 07817 130653

Further information will be given as appropriate from one or more of the following: –

  • Facebook through the many local groups e.g., Parish Pals
  • Information on the RSM website
  • Printed information through the RSM Newsletters
  • Printed information through the Parish Council Newsletters
  • Leaflets/notices at the St. Denys Pharmacy in Rotherfield
  • Posters on the RSM windows

There is also a lot of information on various Government and East Sussex NHS websites, e.g.,

Also the NHS have provided some videos on various items. Makes a change from TV repeats!:

Breaking News:

 Over 200,000 people in Sussex have received a vaccination already!

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