COVID-19 vaccination service is now live in Etchingham for people in rural Rother
More than a thousand people have now received their COVID-19 vaccination at the new local vaccination service in Etchingham.
The service began vaccinating people at Etchingham Village Hall (Parsonage Croft, Etchingham TN19 7BY) on Wednesday 20 January.
It is a partnership between Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and the following GP practices:
· Fairfield Surgery, Burwash
· Ferry Road Health Centre, Rye
· Martins Oak Surgery, Battle
· Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery
· Oldwood Surgery, Robertsbridge/Battle Health Centre
· Rye Medical Centre
· Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries
The service is offering vaccination appointments to either permanent or temporary registered patients at the GP practices above in line with the national priority groups, starting with those who are over the age of 80.
GP practices have been identifying their patients who are eligible at this stage and appointments have, and will continue to be, made over the coming weeks.
Why get vaccinated
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination is one of the best defences against the virus. It should help reduce the rates of serious illness, reduce pressure on our NHS and social care services, and, above all, save lives. People’s GP practice may offer appointments by phone, text, email or letter.
The Etchingham site
We recognise that at the current time, some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination depending on where they live. This situation is rapidly changing and there may be an opportunity to set up more sites across our communities very soon. However, until then, Etchingham is our current site. We urge anyone who is offered an appointment there to take it up if they can.
The location of this vaccination site does not mean that people will receive their vaccination any more slowly. The timing depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in.
Travel to the vaccination site
Please be aware that under government guidelines a family member or friend is permitted to take a person to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment, which is classed as an exemption as it is a ‘medical appointment’. Guidance on how to do this safely is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#private-cars-and-other-vehicles (scroll down to ‘Car sharing’).
Information about community transport can be found on the East Sussex County Council website: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/public/communitytransport/guide/about/. Other options are being explored for those who cannot call upon friends and family.
Please can we ask that people take note of the following guidance:
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme ever undertaken by the NHS. As we roll out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of these things:
· The NHS will contact people when it’s their turn. Please do not ask your GP practice about vaccinations but wait until you are contacted.
· People will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available. Surgeries are as busy as usual looking after people, and calls about vaccinations are preventing them from doing so.
· Please act on your invitation when it comes.
When going for a vaccination
· People are asked not to arrive early for appointments. Arriving on time will help manage numbers at the site and help to keep everyone safe.Always remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.