The NHS is pleased to report that 95% of people aged 40 and over across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have received their first dose of the vaccine and is on track to meet the national target of offering all adults a first dose by the end of July.
Latest weekly statistics on COVID-19 vaccinations delivered, published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, are available here.
People aged 25 and over are now being invited to make an appointment to receive a vaccine via the national booking service and the NHS continues to strongly encourage everyone who receives an invitation to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, whether it is for a first or second dose, to take up the offer as soon as possible.
Bringing forward second doses for priority groups 1-9
Following guidance from the Government and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the NHS continues to bring forward appointments for a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from 12 to eight weeks for anyone in the first nine priority groups who is yet to receive their second vaccination.
This means people at greater risk of getting seriously ill due to COVID-19 can get maximum protection sooner. People should continue to attend their second dose appointments and nobody needs to contact the NHS.
They are contacting those who should bring their appointment forward. Eligible people aged under 50 who have not yet made an appointment to receive the vaccine are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, with their second dose at 12 weeks.
Community testing in Hart District, Rushmoor Borough and Surrey border
Following a small number of cases of the COVID-19 variant first found in India, now known as the Delta variant, additional community testing started on 26 May. Testing is targeted at residents living, working or studying in the following postcodes who do not have symptoms of the virus:
Figures reported to Hampshire County Council to date on the early stages of the testing programme, show that just over 4,500 local residents connected to the four GU postcodes took up the offer of a PCR test for COVID-19 in the first five days.
Findings from the testing programme will be reported to the local authority by Public Health England in two phases – the numbers testing generally positive for COVID-19, followed by details of how many of these have tested positive for specific variants.
The mobile testing units’ operational hours are 8am - 4pm. The initiative concludes today (Wednesday, 9 June).
World-first COVID-19 booster vaccine study launches
Thousands of volunteers are to receive a “booster” COVID-19 vaccine in a new clinical trial led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).
The Cov-Boost trial, led by Professor Saul Faust, Chief Investigator and Director of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Clinical Research Facility, is studying the use of seven different COVID-19 vaccines when given as a third dose.
It is the first in the world to provide vital date on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses. The trial is backed by £19.3m of funding from the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce and running at 17 trial sites nationwide including University Hospital Southampton and the Portsmouth Research Hub, run by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.
The trial has received ethics approval from the NHS Research Ethics Committee, as well as approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Participants will be adults aged 30 years or older and include those immunised early on in the vaccination programme, such as adults aged 75 and over or health and care workers.
Volunteers are being recruited through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry and the study’s website. Initial findings are expected in September and will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on plans for a booster programme from this autumn, ensuring people who are most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over winter.
Since the start of the year the NHS has been drawing on evidence, local intelligence and data from across health, social care, public sector partners and, most importantly, local communities.
They have identified communities and areas to focus on to increase vaccine uptake, taking into account demographics such as age, ethnicity and deprivation. They have also undertaken a significant amount of outreach work to reduce barriers for people who may be less likely to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.
Working with community leaders
Solent NHS Trust has worked with local community leaders and invited them to volunteer at their large vaccination centres. This includes Imam Muhammad Ali from the Medina Mosque who volunteered at the Oakley Road centre in Southampton.
He has also been filmed encouraging others to take up their invitation to receive the vaccine.
Hosting pop-up clinics
A number of pop-up clinics have been held in community locations, working with Solent NHS Trust and local Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Hundreds of people have been vaccinated at clinics in places of worship, not only for the benefit of congregations but also the wider community.
The NHS is continuing to evaluate these clinics and to date, findings show positive feedback from those attending the clinics, increased accessibility to certain groups which suffer the health inequalities in society, improving relationships with the NHS, and wider benefits to community cohesion.
Reaching out to communities
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have been directly contacting people in priority cohorts who had not yet responded to an invitation. By discussing any concerns one-to-one, it has been possible to subsequently book an appointment straightaway. Many PCNs have done this by phone, but also in innovative ways.
Outreach work to Gypsy Roma and traveller communities is underway to promote the vaccine and understand any barriers to uptake, such as not being registered with a GP.
Hampshire County Council is running a successful voluntary Vaccination Champion scheme, in which individuals sign up and receive training from public health professionals to share up-to-date and trusted information with people in their communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.
These volunteers are based from home and able to work whenever is most convenient. Focused work on vulnerable groups Processes have been put in place to support clients of sexual health and HIV clinics to be vaccinated, with appropriate confidentiality arrangements.
Clinics have been set up for people receiving support for substance misuse to be vaccinated in Eastleigh, Totton, New Milton, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester.
PCNs and homeless healthcare teams have worked with local authorities to ensure homeless people are vaccinated.
Authorisation of Janssen vaccine
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently announced that the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen meets the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. The independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has reviewed the MHRA’s decision and endorsed it.
Earlier this year, the single-dose vaccine was shown to be 67% effective overall in preventing COVID-19 infection and 85% effective in preventing severe disease or hospitalisation.
Through the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, 20 million doses of the vaccine have been secured for all four nations of the UK and first deliveries are expected to arrive from later this year. The JCVI will provide updated advice for the vaccine before it becomes available.
Demonstrating COVID-19 vaccination status
All those living in England can now get their COVID-19 vaccination status in digital or paper format. Those who have had two doses of an approved vaccine can show this as proof of their vaccination status when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.
It is important to note that people are asked not to contact their GP surgery about their COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
Accessing your COVID-19 vaccination status
Through the free NHS App
By calling 119 and requesting a letter. This must be at least five working days after people have completed their course of the vaccine (two doses).
It is expected that the letter will take five working days to be delivered. It will be sent automatically to the address people have registered with their GP. The 119 call handler will not be able to see addresses to check the details and anyone who has recently moved house should ensure they have given their new address to their GP practice before calling 119.
Unless they have been invited before, people are asked not to contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact them when it is the right time. Everyone who has a booked appointment is asked to attend at exactly the time they are asked to, and make sure they return for their second dose to ensure they receive maximum protection against COVID-19.
Everyone, whether they had the vaccine or not, is asked to continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.