NHS teams across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight continue to work at pace to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme to those in our communities who are most at risk. A huge thank you to all colleagues who are working together to support local delivery of the programme.
On Tuesday (26 January) Oakley Road in Southampton went live as a vaccination centre for the local community. Previously it had been focused on providing vaccinations for health and care staff. In addition four pharmacies across Hampshire and Isle of Wight have now begun offering vaccination by appointment. There are now 54 vaccination sites across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and feedback from the public about their experiences continues to be positive. Our remaining three vaccination centres in Basingstoke, Portsmouth and on the Isle of Wight are due to go live very shortly and details of all sites are available here.
We are continuing to focus on vaccinating the first four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). These are:
- those aged over 80
- care home residents
- care home staff
- frontline health and care staff
Vaccinating the above groups remains our priority in this first phase. Following the Government’s recent announcement that the vaccination programme would be extended, we are now also offering vaccinations to the next cohort which includes:
- those aged over 70
- people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Community transport to vaccination appointments – support is available
We are grateful to Community First which has dedicated some of its transport capacity to help people get to their COVID-19 vaccination and medical appointments in areas including Basingstoke, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Winchester, the New Forest and East Hampshire.
The charity provides a safe, secure and affordable way of getting to these essential appointments, offering a door-to-door service. Residents will pay a small fare for their journey, which is in-line with local bus fares, and also accepts bus passes to help reduce costs. For more information and to contact your local service, please click here. This is just one of a number of community schemes run by the voluntary sector supporting the vaccination programme.
Everyone awaiting a vaccination invitation is reminded to:
- make sure they are registered with a GP practice
- ensure their GP practice has up-to-date contact details for them – especially a mobile phone number if they have one. This makes it quicker and easier for us to get in touch. There is no need to call us with this information, it can be updated online through the practice website.
It remains as important as ever that we all continue to follow the national guidance and:
- stay at home as much as possible
- wear a face covering when out in the community
- observe social distancing measures
- continue to wash hands regularly
Who cannot have the vaccine?
The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine. A very small number of people who are at risk of COVID-19 cannot have the vaccine – this includes people who have severe allergies to a component in the vaccine.
Women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding should read the detailed information on www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
Will the vaccine protect me?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of more than 20,000 people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.
I have had my flu vaccine, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.
Please will be invited for the vaccination normally by letter from either their GP or National NHS. This letter will include all the information you need to book an appointment, including your NHS number. Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this letter.
More information is available at: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination
Helping you avoid fraud
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.