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COVID-19 vaccine update 10 March 2021

Briefing Update: Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

More than 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses given across the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS)

The latest national figures reveal that 20 million people across the country have now been offered the COVID jab with more than 200,000 doses given across our Frimley Health and Care ICS.

Sarah Bellars, Executive Director of Quality and Nursing and Director of Infection, Prevention and Control for the Frimley Collaborative of Clinical Commissioning Groups has said “reaching this milestone is fantastic news and I would like to thank everyone involved for their continued commitment and efforts – from those administering the jabs on the front line to the volunteers helping ensure the process runs smoothly, and of course the many staff working away in the background to plan, establish and support the vaccination services.” To read the full press release, please click here.

Information on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the NHS in England can be found here. 

Picking up the pace

Take-up of the vaccine has been strong; nine in 10 people in the top four priority groups have already taken up their first dose along with over two thirds of 60-69 year olds. With expected vaccine supply increases from next week, we're planning for further acceleration as we head towards Easter, and also welcoming more people back for their second dose. For full protection, it is crucial people have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Vaccinating new groups

Letters to 1.7 million people aged 56 to 59 landed on doormats over the weekend, and this week more than 400,000 people who are aged 55 or an unpaid carer will be the first to get text alerts from the national booking service, allowing them to arrange their appointments quickly and simply from the palm of their hands.

Advice for carers

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are a main carer of someone at high risk from coronavirus and either:

  • you get Carer's Allowance – find out more about Carer's Allowance on GOV.UK
  • it says you are a carer in your GP record.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service

For guidance from Carers UK about registering as a carer and getting your Covid-19 vaccination, please click here.

Text message invites are genuine

If you receive a text from the sender ‘NHSvaccine’ you can be sure it’s genuine, but always remember the NHS will never ask for payment or your bank details to get the vaccine.

If you're eligible - book your Covid-19 vaccination appointment now

If you are in those groups and haven’t come forward yet, it’s not too late. The vaccines are safe and effective, and could save your life.

You do not need to wait to be contacted if any of the following apply:

  • you are aged 55 or over
  • you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

Making an appointment is quick and simple clicking here or by phoning 119 if you can’t use the internet.

Is my GP giving the vaccine?

For the most part, residents across the Frimley Health and Care ICS will be offered a vaccine appointment by their local GP Primary Care Network. Currently these teams are inviting adults of all ages who have been identified by the Government as having underlying health conditions which put them at greater risk of suffering serious illness if they catch coronavirus (Cohort 6).

This includes those newly-identified by the Government’s QCOVID tool, unpaid carers, and all adults on the GP Learning Disability Register. GPs and practice teams have a long-standing relationship with these patients and therefore a better understanding of their particular needs.

Also, anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t make it to one of the larger vaccination centres can still choose to wait to be contact by their local GP-led service. To see the complete list of vaccination services click here.

Please note – you must have a pre-booked appointment to receive your covid-19 vaccine – this is not a drop in service.

If you are not eligible yet please wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

Accessible information

To support those for whom English may not be their first language, or those with learning disabilities, we have made patient information leaflets available in other formats here.

Useful information on the Covid-19 Vaccine for people living with a learning disability

Please share this video with anyone you know living with a learning disability. To see it, click here 

Leaving nobody behind

The NHS locally and nationally is also going to great lengths to ensure that everyone is able to take up their offer, and hears the right information to make an informed choice. The good news is that, across the first five priority groups, most people from all ethnic backgrounds have already taken up their first dose. But we are working extensively at local and national level, including with community and faith leaders, to engage with those communities where there is still some hesitancy to make the positive case for vaccination. People can show hesitancy for a number of reasons including longstanding issues but also the prevalence of misinformation. Our staff are often our best advocates for the importance of vaccination as can be seen in the latest video from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust here.

The impact so far

Early signs suggest the success of the vaccination programme is contributing to the welcome fall in people in hospital with coronavirus. But the large numbers of very sick patients that hospitals are still seeing demonstrates that we cannot let our guard down now, and underlines the importance of offering the first dose to as many people as possible quickly.

Until the virus is under control, even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow all the guidance including social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing. 

National restrictions to stop the spread of Coronavirus are still in place, and now is not the time to be complacent.

Even after your vaccination, it may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. The second dose will provide you maximum protection, but you may still be able to pass the virus onto others. It is really important that while restrictions are in place, that everyone adheres to them. We must continue to wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds, wear a face covering indoors and maintain social distancing.

The importance of the second dose

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection from COVID-19, everyone will need to get a second dose, so we are urging people to come back for it when they are contacted or if they have an appointment booked. 

If you don't have your second dose appointment date yet, please be patient. You will be contacted to arrange your appointment, but this may not happen until around ten to eleven weeks after your first appointment.

Please remember……

  • unless you are in the groups being invited now, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to;
  • and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.
  • Two doses of the vaccine are still needed to get the best protection from the virus.

Keep abreast of vaccination updates

  • For more information on the vaccine, please visit nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
  • Have you got questions? Check our FAQs here
  • Numbers of vaccinations provided by the NHS in England is available here
  • Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System website here for public information leaflets and latest news
  • Follow and share messages from our social media accounts:
    • Facebook - @FrimleyHealthandCare
    • Twitter - @FrimleyHC