Neighbourhood Watch have sent us the latest update on the local vaccination programme.
Please find below the programme update from Matthew Kershaw and Dr Agnelo Fernandes. Also attached are our FAQs and a new easy read booking letter.
Highlights from this week’s message include:
- More than 100,000 Croydon residents have received their first dose
- People aged 55-59 are invited to book their vaccine
- We opened a new vaccine centre at Centrale shopping centre
- We ask people to speak to their loved ones about the protection the vaccine will offer
- Our questions of the week cover why some younger people are being invited to have the vaccine, whether the vaccine impacts on fertility and what we are doing to encourage people to come forward for the vaccine.
- New translated materials and materials for people with long term conditions.
We hope you find this useful and welcome feedback if this is useful for you.
Best wishes – stay safe
Senior Engagement Manager
Croydon Covid-19 Vaccination Programme update
We continue to make good progress as we deliver the biggest vaccination programme in the NHS history. More than 100,000 Croydon residents have received their first dose and across South West London as a whole we have delivered over 435,000 doses. Vaccination data for South West London boroughs, parliamentary constituencies and local authority wards continues to be published nationally on the NHS England website.
As we move forward with the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, we are keen to maintain the momentum. This weekend, the NHS began inviting people aged 55-59 to come for their Covid-19 vaccination. People in this age group, along with older adults can book their vaccination appointment online via the National Booking Service. Making an appointment is quick and simple at nhs.uk/covidvaccine, or by phoning 119 if you can’t use the internet. As we move on to new age groups, the National Booking Service has begun carefully trialling a text message service for Covid-19 vaccination invitations and reminders, in addition to the letters that are currently sent to eligible people. Over 400,000 people aged 55 or in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will be the first to receive text message invites this week
This week we have been pleased to announce the opening of our fourth and fifth of our community vaccination centre, located at Battersea Arts Centre and Centrale Shopping Centre.
Crucially for Croydon, Centrale will play a key role in helping to vaccinate eligible residents alongside health and care staff. The Venerable Dr M Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, was the first person to be vaccinated at Centrale.
As we marked International Women’s Day on Monday, we took a moment to reflect on the incredible women who have worked so hard and contributed so much to our Covid-19 vaccine efforts. From Professor Sara Gilbert and Dr Özlem Türeci, who helped lead the development of the AstraZeneca (Oxford) and Pfizer vaccines, to the GPs, nurses, matrons, and support staff running our vaccination sites across South West London, the dedication of these incredible women is bringing us so much closer to achieving a way out of the pandemic and a return to a more normal life.
We know that, for most people, the most important and trusted influences in their lives are their friends and family. You can help us encourage vaccine uptake by speaking to your loved ones, encouraging them to have the vaccine, and directing them to reliable, verifiable, and up-to-date sources of information including the Croydon NHS website and twitter feed.
We hope you find this regular update helpful, please do let us know if you have any questions.
Croydon Place Based Leader for Health
Dr Agnelo Fernandes
GP Borough Lead for Croydon
NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group
Questions (and answers) of the week
What have we done to engage low uptake communities, and do we know why people are declining the vaccine?
The NHS is working collaboratively with partners to ensure vaccine messages reach all communities and are tailored to meet their needs. This includes engagement with community and faith-led groups, charities and other voluntary organisations.
Some examples of support include the British Islamic Medical Association, which has consulted various experts about both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and has advised that eligible, at-risk individuals in the Muslim community should receive the vaccine.
The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has also issued a video explaining that is important to have the Covid-19 vaccine to protect yourself and others around you.
The Sikh Council has urged Sikhs to safeguard themselves against rumours and misinformation and encouraged them to follow government guidelines and advice.
Faith leaders from the Church of England, Anglican, Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, Pentecostal, Evangelical and black majority churches have pledged their support to the ‘Give Hope’ campaign which aims to share information about the Covid-19 vaccine and dispel any misinformation.
A video of the Chief Rabbi can be viewed here.
Information on the Give Hope campaign can be found here.
Why are younger people eligible for the vaccine before older age groups?
The NHS is prioritising the most vulnerable people for the Covid-19 vaccination – this includes young people at higher risk of the more severe effects of the virus, such as those with severe asthma.
We know that some younger people may feel guilty in getting vaccinated before older family members, especially if they look healthy from the outside, but so important they come forward when they are asked, so they can protect themselves and others from the virus.
The vaccine will be offered to adults (16+) with conditions such as:
- a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- a heart problem
- a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
- a kidney disease
- a liver disease
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
- rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis
- have had an organ transplant
- had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- a neurological or muscle wasting condition
- a severe or profound learning disability
- a problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or having had your spleen removed
- are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
- are severely mentally ill
Whether someone is offered the vaccine may depend on the severity of their condition, GP advise on whether an individual is eligible.
When and where will I get my second dose and is there enough supply to get the same vaccine as the first dose?
The UK Chief Medical Officers agreed a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks. This decision will help us save lives by getting the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time.
Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time. From early next week, people will start to get their second dose. They will need to go to the same place they received their first vaccination. If that was from a local GP, they should wait to be contacted to book their second appointment. If it was at a hospital hub, they will be contacted via text message around a week before, and between 10 and 12 weeks after the first dose.
We understand that when attending for their first jab some people were given an appointment for their second vaccine and others not. No one will be left behind as we have the records of who needs a 2nd jab and we have specific vaccine supplies for the 1st and 2nd vaccines.
The Government has, in principle, secured access to seven different vaccine candidates, across four different vaccine types, totalling over 357 million doses. This includes:
- 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
- 100m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
- 7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been approved by the MHRA but is not expected to be delivered to the NHS until spring.
Do the Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility and you do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby Covid-19.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College Midwives (RCM) issued a joint statement to provide reassurance around the misinformation that has been shared about the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on fertility.
In the statement, Dr Edward Morris, President at RCOG, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility.”
RCM Chief Executive Gill Walton added: “Women who are eligible for the vaccination should consider discussing any concerns they have with their midwife or healthcare professional.”
Does having the Covid-19 vaccine make any subsequent Covid-19 infection worse?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the official UK regulator, has said these vaccines are highly effective even with just the first dose, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important.
Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose. It is expected that the vaccine will be effective for at least a year. This will continually be monitored.
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.
This means it is important to:
- continue to follow social distancing guidance
- wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people if you can
For further information, please see the gov.uk website