Vaccination programme expands

Tilling green centre

Following the latest government announcements about the vaccination programme, there was another very helpful meeting with the Sussex NHS Commissioners (CCG) to review progress across Sussex. Discussion covered jabs for 12 to 15 year olds in schools, jabs for the vulnerable and third or booster jabs for the over 50s.

For the Rye centre, at Tilling Green community centre, our focus was on the third jabs. The NHS will be writing to, or texting all those eligible from this week. Those contacted will be encouraged to use the national booking service (NBS) or perhaps offered an option to go to their GP surgery.

For those using the NBS, the online guidance is clear. In the offered vaccination locations, the Rye centre should appear, but it is stressed that the system will only allow those where six months has elapsed since the second jab to book. Those needing advice should telephone 119.

Third jabs will generally be Pfizer regardless of the vaccine type for the first two jabs, as the NHS regards the third jab as a separate programme. There may be exceptions for clinical reasons and these will be advised by GPs. The Rye centre has for some weeks welcomed walk-ins and in future, for the over 50s, these will be accepted if individuals meet the six month rule. The NHS has said that the booster jab will “strengthen the wall of defence” against Covid-19.

Covid-19 jabs for all 12 to 15-year-olds will be delivered through their school’s vaccination programme. There are ongoing issues about consent but in general it is emerging that if either the parent or the student do not want to accept the offer, then the vaccine will not be given. The Rye centre will not be involved in delivery to this group.

We have also heard about the winter flu jab programme which is separate to Covid-19 vaccinations and available by booking through GP surgeries and chemists.

The recovery area

Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .


  1. The government has now set out its detailed priorities for the 3rd jab. A booster vaccine will be offered to everyone in the top nine priority groups, which were used to determine the order of the initial jabs. However the 6 month rule (after the 2nd jab) will apply and will prevent people booking early on the NHS National Booking Website.

    This means everyone over 50 will get one, as well as healthcare workers and people with health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

    The priority groups are as follows:

    People living in a care home for older adults and their staff carers
    All those 80 years of age and older and frontline health and social care workers
    All those 75 years of age and over
    All those 70 years of age and over and people who are extremely clinically vulnerable (also known as the “shielding” group) – people in this group will previously have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising them to shield
    All those 65 years of age and over
    All those aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
    All those 60 years of age and over
    All those 55 years of age and over
    All those 50 years of age and over
    However, due to logistical issues with vaccinating people in care homes, over-80s and healthcare workers are expected to get their boosters first.

    Anthony Kimber PhD


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