We are writing to update you on our progress in the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Croydon.
With 35 vaccination sites now live across South West London, the NHS continues to accelerate the biggest immunisation programme in our history. As we run more, visit more care homes and the housebound in their own homes, we are all working hard to offer all over 70s and front-line health and care staff a vaccine by Monday 15 February 2021.
In South West London we have now delivered over 190,000 vaccines, which is an increase from the national figures published last week which reported that our local clinicians had vaccinated around 140,000 residents. You can find full details on the NHS England website where the latest data will be published every Thursday afternoon. We know many local people are keen to see data specific to Croydon, we will share this with you as soon as we can.
Our second large vaccination centre at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s stadium in Croydon began vaccinations on Monday and a further site, Harlequin’s Twickenham Stadium is planned to launch later this week. This will mean that local people who are contacted by the national booking system will have more choice about where they can book an appointment closer to them.
In addition to the GP lead primary care sites, hospital hubs and large vaccination sites, South West London residents now have the option of having their vaccine at one of five community pharmacy sites. Croydon Mayday Community Pharmacy and Valley Pharmacy at St Aidan’s Church Hall are launching today. The introduction of community pharmacy sites is being managed at a regional level.
While it is good news there are more places for people to get their vaccination there is still more to do to support residents and staff who are hesitant about the vaccine so that they feel confident to come forward when they are invited. The NHS is working closely with local authorities and community partners to ensure up to date information is available for local people around how the vaccination works and how safe it is, through conversations with health and care staff, local leaders and the wider community. We are particularly listening to residents who are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority, those who older, more vulnerable and those living in deprived areas.
The NHS is working closely with local authorities and community partners to make sure that front-line care workers know they are eligible for the vaccine and how to book their appointment. This work to help engage front-line staff over the next two weeks will help us meet the Prime Minister’s pledge. As well as the importance of these groups getting protected, we know that health and social care staff are key in reassuring their clients and patients that the vaccines are safe and effective, and this will help encourage others to feel confident to accept the offer of the vaccine when it is their turn.
As we continue to engage with our local communities in the borough we have highlighted below:
The most frequently asked questions and our answers from this last week’s engagement work.
- The key messages to be sharing this week
- Engagement with local communities in last week, and planned for next week (please ask to review our full comms and engagement plan and schedule for the borough)
- Messages & materials for you to share with colleagues or residents.
Please do let us know if you have any questions.
Chief Executive and Place Based Leader for Health for Croydon
Dr Agnelo Fernandes
GP Borough Lead for Croydon
NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group
Questions (and answers) of the week –
Is there enough vaccine supply?
Yes. We are confident that there is enough supply coming to all our vaccination sites to enable everyone over 70 to receive their first dose by 15 February and to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.
Will the vaccines work with the new strains?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They will give you the best protection against the virus. Whilst there are new strains developing, having the vaccine when offered remains the best form of defence against COVID-19. Scientists are now looking at the characteristics of the virus in relation to the vaccines. Viruses, such as the winter flu virus, often branch into different strains but these small variations rarely render vaccines ineffective.
- How effective are the vaccines? How long do they take to work?
- The vaccines are part of our defence – but we need to continue with hands, face, space. The 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. It may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. It is important to follow the guidance during lockdown to protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:
- practice social distancing
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- follow the current guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- What are the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine?
The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any foetal material, animal products or eggs. All ingredients are published in healthcare information on the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) website.
- How were vaccines developed so quickly?
Medicines including vaccines are highly regulated – and that is no different for the approved COVID-19 vaccines. The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) the official UK regulator, have said that both of these vaccines have good safety and offer a high level of protection. There are several reasons why it was possible to develop the vaccines relatively quickly compared to other medicines:
- The different phases of the clinical trial were delivered back-to-back instead of running one after the other, this sped up the clinical process;
- Data from the clinical trials was looked at as soon as it was available so experts at the MHRA could review results as the trial was being delivered. They could ask questions along the way and request extra information as needed – as opposed to getting all information at the end of a trial.
- Clinical trials managed to recruit people very quickly as a global effort meant thousands of people were willing to volunteer.
The South West London CCG communications team has created a COVID-19 vaccination information page for each borough and is promoting these through our Twitter feeds. GPs can refer to this when answering enquiries from patients, they include information about Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine approval and new guidance on the second dose. We will be regularly updating this information. The link to the web page for https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-area/croydon/croydon-covid-19-vaccination-programme-update/
|The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They will give you the best protection against coronavirus
|The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have a vaccine. It is important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then
|You must have a booked appointment to receive your vaccine. Please do not turn up without an appointment – thank you to everyone for being patient and waiting to be contacted
|Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – hands, face, space
Engagement with local communities in Croydon last week, and planned for next week (please let us know if you would like to review our full comms and engagement plan and schedule for Croydon)
This week we are engaging with health and social care staff working with Croydon Council, many of whom live in Croydon as well as supporting our most vulnerable residents. We are also working with Croydon Voluntary Action to hold engagement sessions with their volunteers who have been supporting the vaccination centres and providing mutual aid in the borough throughout the pandemic.
We have also met with representatives from the south of the borough residents’ associations and the One Croydon Service Users and Carers Specialist Engagement Group. Local doctors have also been working with the Asian Resource Centre of Croydon to produce short films answering questions from our engagement events which we hope will be available shortly. We are working together to produce films in community languages and we are particularly looking out for clinicians who speak Arabic, Turkish or Tamil. If you are able to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 6 February 2021 saw the BME Forum partnering with A-men Kick off to host a zoom session with our Borough Clinical Lead, Dr Agnelo Fernandez to discuss ‘should I take the vaccine?’ which invited Black men to find out more about the vaccine. A large event is also planned on Thursday 11 February 2021 for Croydon’s Black Community to ask ‘should we take the vaccine?’ with panellists Pastor Damien Luke, Dr John O Afolayan, Marlene Johnson, Dr Nwakuru Nwaogwugwu and Dr Daniel Osigbe with support from Sarah Jones MP and Cllr Janet Campbell.
Senior Engagement Manager (Croydon)
NHS South West London CCG Croydon
Bernard Weatherill House
2nd Floor, Zone G
8 Mint Walk
Croydon CR0 1EA
T: 020 8668 1384
www.swlondonccg.nhs.uk | Follow us on Twitter @SWLNHS_| @NHSCroydon_ email@example.com