News

19.03.2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Stakeholder bulletin

18 March 2021

 

This week we hit another new milestone, with over 500,000 vaccines delivered across the county. We also opened up our vaccinations to the over 50s, which is the final group in the first phase of the vaccination programme. We remain on track to deliver vaccines to everyone over 50 or in an at-risk group (cohort 1-9) by the deadline of 15 April.

Last night the Government announced there will be a significant reduction in supplies during April. From the start of the programme, the NHS has successfully had to adjust vaccine delivery on a weekly basis, to take account of fluctuations in supply. Thanks to our strong start and strict adherence to the guidance we are confident we will have enough vaccine to continue to deliver the first dose vaccines to those eligible. Importantly, there is also a national commitment that the second doses will not be affected, and anyone who is due a second dose within April will receive it. We will be monitoring our supplies very closely to ensure that no one gets missed. 
 
We are planning ahead for this four week slow-down, and have agreed that we will use this period to:

  • Continue our focus on seldom heard groups to ensure that no one gets missed, including a range of pop-up sites and dedicated phone calls from clinicians
  • Closely monitor stock levels to ensure we maximise our supplies
  • Support mutual aid across our sites to ensure that our vaccines are in the right places
  • Continue with the second doses, ensuring robust processes are in place to meet the 12 week guidance
  • Remain committed to ensuring that vaccines are prioritised to cohorts 1-9 and second doses and not move forward to the wider population.

We’re encouraging anyone who is over 50 or in an at risk group, who has not yet had their vaccine, to book their appointment as soon as possible through the national booking portal or their GP practice.  

The focus of this week’s media headlines has been the AstraZeneca vaccine and concerns surrounding blood clots.  Locally, we are encouraging people not to delay or cancel appointments and reassuring people the vaccine is safe.  The Medical Healthcare Regulations Agency (MHRA) have undertaken robust testing and the vaccine is both safe and effective.   Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.  More than 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK, and the number of blood clots reported after having the vaccine is not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population. Thank you for your support promoting the safety of the vaccine to all your networks, you can find out more below.
 
Locally we have now given 476,993 first doses and 30,086 second doses which combined takes the total number of doses to 507,079.  Thanks to everyone’s hard work across the system, we have now vaccinated 99.4% of over 80s, 100% of the 75-79s, 96.6% of the 70-74s, 92.8% of the 65-69s, 91.8% of the 60-64s and 59.3% of the over 55s. Our PCNs continue to work hard to reach those in at risk groups as well as some of the priority groups such as the homeless and seldom heard groups, there is also great work taking place across the system to reduce inequalities.  Our larger vaccination centres and pharmacies have moved onto the over 50s and are already making great headway with this group, we have some very busy clinics between now and 29 March. In addition, we’re starting to make real progress on our second doses, with our hospital hubs and early wave PCNs leading the way.   
 
We want to give you our commitment, that although the supplies may reduce in April, our programme is not stopping and there remains a lot for us to do. This gives us the opportunity to revitalise our energies to ensure everyone who is eligible at the moment is supported to have their vaccine. Importantly, we will be ready for when the supplies increase again and we can move forward to the next cohorts. We’re still working towards the national target of all people over 18 receiving their first dose by 31 July 2021.

Neil Carr                                                                   Dr Paddy Hannigan
Senior Responsible Officer                                      Clinical Lead
COVID-19 Vaccination Programme                         COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

 
Priority vaccination groups

 

The groups currently eligible for vaccination are:

  • Those living in a care home for older adults
  • Those aged 50 or over
  • Those who have previously received a letter saying they are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • People who are in an at risk group (clinically vulnerable), aged 16 and over
  • Frontline health or social care workers – find out more  
  • Carers who care for someone at high risk from coronavirus
  • All patients who are on the Learning Disability Register across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
  •  A small number of staff working in education settings for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine Refusal

You will have seen the coverage in the media about some countries choosing to refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about clotting in some people – a comparatively small number compared to the number of vaccinations delivered.

The MHRA has today confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

The latest statement from the MHRA states:

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, said:

“We continually monitor safety during use of all a vaccines to protect the public, and to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.

“Our thorough and careful review, alongside the critical assessment of leading, independent scientists, shows that there is no evidence that that blood clots in veins is occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination, for either vaccine.

“We have received a very small number of reports of an extremely rare form of blood clot in the cerebral veins (sinus vein thrombosis, or CSVT) occurring together with lowered platelets soon after vaccination. This type of blood clot can occur naturally in people who have not been vaccinated, as well as in those suffering from COVID-19.

“Given the extremely rare rate of occurrence of these CSVT events among the 11 million people vaccinated, and as a link to the vaccine is unproven, the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, continue to outweigh the risks of potential side effects.

“You should therefore continue to get your jab when it is your turn.

“While we continue to investigate these cases, as a precautionary measure we would advise anyone with a headache that lasts for more than 4 days after vaccination, or bruising beyond the site of vaccination after a few days, to seek medical attention.

“However, please remember that mild flu-like symptoms remain one of the most common side effects of any COVID-19 vaccine, including headache, chills and fever. These generally appear within a few hours and resolve within a day or two, but not everyone gets them.

“We will continue to robustly monitor all the data we have on this extremely rare possible side effect.” To read the full article, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-regulator-confirms-that-people-should-continue-to-receive-the-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

Our message to the public remains:

  • The MHRA have undertaken robust testing and have confirmed that the vaccine is safe and offers high levels of protection against COVID-19
  • Local clinicians are urging people to get their COVID-19 vaccine when they are invited without delay               
  • The MHRA are closely reviewing reports regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting but the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause
  • More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca have now been administered across the UK, and the number of blood clots reported after having the vaccine is not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population

The vaccine you will be given will be informed by whichever is available at your location and patients are not able to request a particular brand of vaccine based on their preference. 

 

 
Vaccination sites

 

Pop-up vaccine clinic at Stoke-on-Trent local mosque:

Our work is continuing to encourage people in ethnic minority backgrounds to come forward for their vaccine, as we know uptake nationally and locally is lower in these groups. We are slowly starting to see an increase in uptake in these groups, however this remains a priority for us.  

To encourage more people to take up the vaccine, we will be holding a pop-up vaccine clinic on the:

  • Afternoon of Saturday 27 March at Gillani Noor Masjid, 2 Chaplin Road, Stoke on Trent, ST3 4QS

We need your help to encourage people who are aged 65 and over, a frontline health and social care worker or have received a letter from the NHS to say they are clinically extremely vulnerable to book a vaccine appointment at their local mosque. People need to call 02475 267329 between 9.00am and 5.00pm by Tuesday 23 March to book an appointment. Please make sure the person booking has their NHS number to hand. All appointments must be pre-booked – no walk-ins will be accepted on the day.

Please share this message among your networks. For further information about the vaccine and the programme, and a variety of materials like videos and leaflets, please visit https://www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination/resources.

 

Pop-up vaccine clinic in Burton mosque
 
A pop-up vaccine clinic will be running at the community centre at Central Jamia Mosque Rizvia on Uxbridge Street, Burton on Friday 26 March, between 2pm and 4pm.
 
Eligible people include:

  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • All those 55 years of age and over
  • Adults who have received a letter from the NHS notifying them that they are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People over 16 with underlying health conditions
  • Paid carers

Take up is strictly by booking only. Eligible people should call Staffordshire County Council on 0300 111 8050 to book their vaccine appointment.
 
Appointments must be booked in advance and the phonelines are open now. The cut off for bookings will be 3pm on Wednesday 24 March.

You can also share this video ‘Why it’s important to get your COVID-19 vaccine’ by Dr. Shammy Noor.

 

Uttoxeter pharmacy vaccination site

This weekend we have another pharmacy site being stood up in Uttoxeter.  Good luck to the team of staff and volunteers at Wellfield Pharmacy at Uttoxeter Health Community Centre, Holly Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 7DP.

 

Thank you to all the mums who worked at our sites on Mother’s day

Thank you again to all of the mothers and grandmothers who worked at the vaccination sites this weekend.  There is always a great atmosphere at the vaccination sites and this weekend was no exception.  The public were really grateful to all of those who gave up their weekends with many showing their gratitude by bringing in sugary treats and cakes for the clinicians, staff and volunteers. 

One mother who worked at the Kingston Centre this weekend was Deputy Operations Manager Vicki Harvey who worked alongside her son Ethan who is a marshall at the site.

 

 
Statistics

 

The tables below show local verified statistics giving a breakdown of how many vaccinations have been given and to what cohort.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent statistics

Midlands regional statistics

National statistics (England)

The following link contains information on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the NHS in England, you can see ward level data through this link: www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations

 

 

 
Other news

 

Do It For What Matters #DoingOurBit #IveHadMyVaccine

Local staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust have compiled four new videos, telling us why they think it’s important to have the COVID-19 vaccine. These videos are available on our COVID playlist and can be found here.

 

 
 

 

Ramadan and the COVID-19 vaccine
 

Ramadan may be a few weeks away but it’s likely to coincide with many second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (and some first doses).  Muslim leaders nationally and locally are reassuring people that getting the COVID-19 vaccine does not invalidate the fast. Muslim communities are encouraged not to delay getting the vaccine during Ramadan.

Please use the messages and images attached across your communication channels to encourage people to continue to book their vaccine appointments in the coming weeks. Follow this link for guidance on Ramadan safety guidance to minimise the risk of catching COVID-19.

 

Can you help to support a vaccination site?

St John’s Ambulance have been helping the NHS Vaccination Programme by recruiting 30,000 volunteers in order to help vaccinate and support vaccination sites across England, and from those 30,000 21,683 people have been trained to date.

More people are needed to help in the West Midlands due to the number of sites supported. Sites currently supported are:

  • Millennium Point, Birmingham City
  • Artrix Centre, Bromsgrove
  • Telford International Centre
  • The Black Country Museum
  • Daniel Platt Park,  Stoke on Trent
  • Al-Abbas Islamic Centre, Birmingham
  • Aston Villa FC, Birmingham
  • Kingston Centre, Stafford
  • Whitemore Lakes, Alrewas
  • The Bowling Centre, Shrewsbury

See the attached letter and the website: Coronavirus | St John Ambulance (sja.org.uk) for further information. 

 

 
Key messages and FAQs

 

You may find this standard letter and FAQs useful for some of the queries you may receive.  Below are some of the frequent questions we received this week:

COVID-19 vaccine and breast screening
We are hearing some concerns about the vaccine and breast-screening appointments; the response to breast-screening queries can be found here and is also included on the FAQs page on the TWB website.  

 

 
Media

 

You can find some other stories that have appeared in the media by following the links below:-

Radio Stoke

Express & Star

Stoke-on-Trent Live

Burton Mail

 

 
Resources

 

Our latest toolkit is available to share on your channels, this will be updated with social media messages and graphics each week, you can find it here.

The latest vaccine resources that you are free to use and share can be found by following the link.

 

 
Further information

 

For more information visit our website at https://www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/  or email us at: mlcsu.staffscovidcomms@nhs.net.   We will endeavour to respond to your enquiry as quickly as we can, during this busy time.

Any queries from members of the public should be directed to our PALS team by emailing MLCSU.PatientServices@nhs.net or telephone 0800 030 4563. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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