As you have seen in the media, Coronavirus (COVID) vaccines are now being offered in some areas across the country. Due to the storage requirements of the vaccine, it is only being administered at mass vaccination centres. These mass vaccination centres are being organised by the CCG and run as joint collaborations with groups of local GP practices who currently have the capacity to support this work. This is a big project at national level and unfortunately not all sites can be set up and run at the same time. The government is rolling this vaccination program out in waves. As of the 17th December 2020, there were 324 operational sites around the country. With the second wave of centres going live on the 18th December 2020.
In tandem with Rye Medical Centre, Northiam and other local surgeries, we have formed a collaboration to work with the CCG and Sussex Community Foundation Trust to set up a mass vaccination centre locally. Currently the search is on to find a suitable site for this service. Every site has to be assessed and approved by an NHS team to ensure that the site meets mandatory health and safety requirements and has the required equipment and storage facilities for the vaccine delivery. At the present time, no such site has been identified in our locality. None of our local surgeries are large enough to run as mass vaccination sites and concurrently provide essential medical services, so alternative sites are under consideration. Once a site has been approved and set up, we aim to be involved in discussion to determine how we can support the local program to provide COVID vaccinations.
This is a national vaccination program and whilst we are working with local NHS groups to get the vaccine out to our community, it is not something we have direct control over. From the current information that we have it is likely that vaccinations will be provided in the early part of the New Year. This is a situation however which is moving at pace and we endeavour to update you once a decision is made.
We understand that this has been a difficult year for all and that the delivery of the COVID vaccinations is a priority and we hope this update is helpful.