Thank you for 1,000,000 first doses
More than one million first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been given across Kent and Medway. The milestone is another important step in the fight against coronavirus and a huge achievement for the many teams who are working on the vaccination programme.
We would like to thank every one of the staff and volunteers who have made it possible to vaccinate so many people in such a short space of time. While many have been on the frontline at vaccination sites across Kent and Medway, there has also been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure the vaccination programme rolls out as smoothly as possible.
Primary care networks, large vaccination centres, community pharmacies and hospital hubs have been delivering vaccines while continuing to manage their day-to-day services, which is no mean feat. The summary below gives rounded figures.
|Vaccination service||First dose||Second doses|
|Large vaccination centres||235,300||58,900|
|Primary Care Networks||587,500||422,300|
There is still work to do before the whole of the adult population is protected with both doses, but we should still pause to recognise what has been achieved to date. Thank you to everyone who has played their part in the largest vaccination programme in NHS history.
Second dose timing moved to 8 weeks
To ensure the most vulnerable have maximum protection from variants of the virus, second doses for people in the top nine priority groups (over 50 years old or with existing health conditions) are being brought forward to eight weeks after the first dose - rather than 12 weeks.
Our vaccination services are working through this change and will be contacting people affected. People who have booked through the national booking service will need to cancel their original second dose booking and re-book. The process on the website holds your original booking until you select a new earlier date. You can also call 119.
Vaccinating 30 somethings
If you are in your 30s please keep an eye on the national booking service. People aged 36 and above can currently book vaccine appointments, but we expect that bookings will be opened up to more people in their 30s over the course of this week and next.
Vaccination for people with a history of severe allergic reactions
The Covid-19 vaccine is still recommended for people with a history of allergic reactions provided those are not linked to ingredients within the vaccines. We have a dedicated process for supporting people with severe allergies. This includes specialist allergy advice from Guys and St Thomas' Hospital to help local clinicians and their patients agree the best approach for them.
If you do have a history of severe allergic reactions, especially anaphylactic shock, please contact your GP when you are eligible for the vaccine. If appropriate they will be able to arrange a referral to a hospital based service to receive the vaccine. Please do this rather than booking a vaccine appointment directly through the national booking service.
Vaccination for pregnant women
If you are pregnant, or think you may be, you will be offered the Pfizer vaccine rather than AstraZeneca. The national booking service has been updated to allow pregnant women to book through the website. It will prompt you with some questions and will only show options of vaccination sites that are providing Pfizer.
New evidence that vaccines work
Since our last bulletin, there has been a new study published by Public Health England which shows for the first time that individuals who receive a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine have approximately 80% lower risk of death with COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated individuals. The report also shows protection against death from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rises from approximately 80% after one dose to 97% after 2 doses. Read more here.