Mid and South Essex COVID-19 vaccination update

Content originally from Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership

Sent on behalf of NHS Basildon and Brentwood, NHS Castle Point and Rochford, NHS Mid Essex, NHS Southend and NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
While we continue to respond to extreme pressures across health and social care created by a second surge in COVID-19 cases locally, I am delighted to bring news of our progress in local COVID-19 vaccination programme. This will be key in our fight against the virus, as vaccines will help curb infections and then allow restrictions to be lifted.
Last week’s announcement that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been authorised by the MHRA for use in the UK is very welcome and we are seeing more COVID-19 vaccine supplies arriving across mid and south Essex. Increased supply also means that vaccination can now be expanded to frontline health and social care workers.
The NHS has made an excellent start to rolling out Covid-19 vaccines, with new vaccination sites going live on a weekly basis through a number of GP-led primary care networks. Every single patient that we have vaccinated over the last couple of weeks have got their own personal stories to the difference it’s going to make. Subject to the supplies coming through, we are expecting full coverage across the whole of mid and south Essex by the end of next week. Details of all vaccination sites are available on this webpage.
In line with the JCVI’s prioritisation, for now this means continuing to vaccinate people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff, as well as widening out the offer to frontline health and social care staff in both our hospital hubs and local vaccination centres.
The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine ‘give very high protection against severe disease’ and both have good safety records.
Updated guidance from MHRA, JCVI and the UK Chief Medical Officers has also been published to advise increasing the spacing of second vaccine doses for both the new Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine and the current Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
The four UK CMOs have said that, ‘Prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time’.
This means that:
For those who have received their first vaccination and are due to receive their second dose w/c Monday 4 January, no further action is required, and these appointments should continue as planned.For those that have had, or are scheduled to receive their first vaccination after 31 December, an appointment to receive the second dose should be scheduled by 12 weeks.If existing second dose appointment needs to be rescheduled, patients will be contacted. No further action is required. Patients still need to receive their second vaccine, and it is important that they attend their second appointment once scheduled.
It is also important that anyone who has had the vaccine continues to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask as well as the additional measures in place where they live.
The wider public also have an important part to play to help them do this, please help us to get these messages out:
Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments on time – please avoid arriving early as we want to avoid queues;Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives. I would like to end this note by acknowledging the astonishing efforts of our hardworking staff who are working around the clock to fight the battle against the virus.
Best wishes,
Anthony ‘Mac’ McKeeverExecutive Lead Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership
and Joint Accountable Officer for its five CCGs