Elsewhere in this edition of Rye News is the latest update we can obtain on the vaccine rollout. In the meantime below are two recent press releases from our MP Sally-Ann Hart.
I have no knowledge yet of vaccines being delivered to anyone in Rye or the immediate area, as she claims, apart from one who apparently was already in The Conquest hospital and was given a jab there and then as a protective measure, and neither do a number of leading members of the community who are trying to find reliable information.
No GP-led vaccinations are taking place locally, and there is nothing on the websites of local surgeries to say they are. The information instead is that, apparently because of the Pfizer vaccine’s operational requirements, the nearest centre for vaccinations will be a community centre at Etchingham. If the Oxford vaccine becomes available GP surgeries might then be used. But small pharmacies may not be suitable for vaccinations.
She also implies that you can just turn up at GP centres in other towns but all the official NHS publicity very clearly and specifically says – Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you about where to go, and when. But whether this will be by letter or phone is now not entirely clear.
And she goes on to complain about misinformation and rumour – when she appears to be one of the culprits.
Press release dated Tuesday, January 5:
“Letter to local residents from Sally-Ann on the local vaccine rollout:
“Thank you for contacting me about the Covid19 vaccine rollout in our area.
“I understand the urgency and frustration at which local residents are wanting to receive one of the two Covid19 vaccines now available.
“Adam Doyle, the Chief Executive of the Sussex Care Commissioning Group (responsible for the vaccine rollout in Sussex), has this morning confirmed that vaccines have been delivered across East Sussex since December 8 to the most vulnerable people and to front line NHS and care sector staff.
“At present vaccinations are taking place in hospital hubs; GP led vaccination services; roving services to care homes and the housebound; and planning is going into mass vaccination sites across the county.
“Hospital hub vaccination services in Sussex were launched at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on December 8, 2020 and teams at the hospital have been vaccinating those over the age of 80 who were attending the hospital and health and care staff.
“More local to us, the Conquest Hospital in Hastings went live as a hospital hub last week, and Eastbourne Hospital is due to go live this week.
“GP-led vaccination services are where the majority of the current population are being offered their vaccinations. In total in Sussex there are 15 sites which have gone live to date. In the majority, each service is supported by a number of GP practices (within their Primary Care Network footprint) working together to vaccinate their collective population. Currently in East Sussex, six GP-led vaccination services have gone live and have all started to vaccinate patients over the age of 80.”
Go to Bexhill or Hastings from here?
“The nearest site for residents in Hastings and Rye is at Sidley Medical Practice in Bexhill with other sites in Eastbourne and Lewes. However, later this week, a GP-led vaccination service goes live at The Hastings Centre in Hastings, on The Ridge.
“The CCG is working to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible, but deploying a vaccine at this scale is unprecedented. Timing will be dependent to a large extent on manufacturing timescales and supply.
“We have to be realistic that this unprecedented logistical task is going to take some time to get up and running, but progress is already being made and the new vaccination site at the Hastings Centre in Hastings will be a game changer for us locally.
“The Government has set a target of vaccinating the four top priority groups (over 13 million people) by the middle of February, and I will continue to do all I can as the local MP to support the efforts of the CCG in ensuring we meet this target.
“Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue.
“Sally-Ann Hart MP
Member of Parliament
Hastings and Rye”
Press release dated Friday, January 8
“Many residents have been in touch with me enquiring about the local roll out of the Covid-19 vaccines in our area.
“I want to provide an update to local residents as there appears to be a lot of misinformation and inaccurate rumour being spread.”
Vaccines delivered in Rye ?
“Vaccines are being delivered to residents in Hastings and Rye and have been since December 8, 2020.
“Last week the Conquest Hospital went live as a Hospital Hub delivering the Pfizer vaccine, and by the middle of this week had already given 1700 jabs to frontline NHS staff and care workers.
“Today a vaccine hub went live at The Hastings Centre on The Ridge (opposite the Conquest Hospital) in Hastings. This is another massive step forward in the roll out of the vaccine.
“All of this comes on top of the good news today that a third Covid19 vaccine (Moderna) has been approved by the MHRA.
“These are the early days of a massive logistical effort involving the Resilience Forum, Army, NHS, and local authorities to roll out this vaccine programme. There are bound to bumpy starts to this, but in the coming weeks more and more people will be getting the vaccine in our area in greater numbers.
“Please do not believe the stories and rumours being spread that we are not receiving vaccine in our area and that no one has yet had it – this simply is not true.
“We are in the final throes of this fight against Covid19, and locally we are firing on all cylinders to ensure we a can deliver the vaccines to everyone as quickly and safely as possible.”
[Editor’s note: Well, as I cannot drive and do not have access to a car, and going to Etchingham will involve two trains (and a long wait in between on the Hastings platform), and apparently a long walk at both ends, I doubt I will bother as I’m 78 with severe COPD (and asthma from birth) and the trip would probably kill me anyway]
Image Credits: UK Parliament https://members.parliament.uk/member/4842/portrait.