With one week remaining to vaccinate the first four priority groups of residents, Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, has urged residents to ensure they don’t miss out. Calling the vaccination, the ‘gateway’ for the entire area to return to normality, the MP has also hit out at anti-vaccination groups for ‘putting lives at risk with misinformation and fear’.
East Sussex’s vaccination programme is delivering well, at rates consistent with the national average but some residents aged 70 and over are yet to be vaccinated.
Huw is joining the Sussex Health and Care Partnership in calling on the remaining over 70s, and those classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, to actively get in touch with the NHS to arrange their vaccination appointment.
Huw said “The NHS team, and volunteers, in Sussex have done an outstanding job in delivering the vaccine to so many. This is not just a jab for continued health of the most vulnerable but the gateway for all ages to get back to school, work and recreation. Previously, we’ve appealed to those eligible to wait for the NHS to call you. In the last week when these groups are the priority, the message is ‘if we’ve not called you then call the NHS’.
“It’s essential that we can get through this cohort by next week. It accounts for 90% of the mortality risk. Once this is done, the vaccination teams can focus on delivering to the next age group. Hopefully, by May, we will see all those over 50 years old, as well as those frontline health and care workers and the most clinically vulnerable, vaccinated. That’s 99% of the mortality risk in this country.”
Hitting out at the ‘anti-vax’ movement, the MP said “I had my concerns about the proportionality of the earlier lockdown but we should all be united with the message that this vaccination will protect lives and let us get back to normal. Everyone able to take it should do so. There’s a lot of misinformation and irresponsible scare-mongering being put out across social media. Residents should listen to scientists and regulators and check the facts which demonstrate that this vaccine is safe and it is effective.”
The MP has welcomed another hugely successful weekend of vaccinations in East Sussex where more than 10,000 people were vaccinated in the three vaccination centres, local vaccination services, home visiting teams, pharmacy led services and hospital hubs.
Over 70s can book their first vaccine appointment by calling 119 or visiting https://nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/…. Those under 70 who are not deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are still being asked to wait for the NHS to contact them when it is their turn to be vaccinated. More than 50,000 further vaccinations are set to take place across Sussex this week.