Worthing Hospital begins coronavirus vaccinations - with GPs to follow

Worthing Hospital has started distributing the coronavirus vaccination, with a wider rollout across the area expected to follow shortly.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 8:50 am
Updated Thursday, 24th December 2020, 8:56 am

Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley has revealed the hospital started providing vaccinations this week to local residents, with GPs to follow shortly.

In a Facebook post, Sir Peter said more than 4,300 people across West Sussex have received the vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, over the past nine days.

The positive news comes hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that West Sussex will enter tier 4 social restrictions from Boxing Day.

An A&E worker has been confirmed as one of the eight Brits diagnosed with coronavirus. Department of Health tonight said the healthcare professional is not the same person as the locum doctor working in Brighton. The doctor has too been confirmed as one of the eight cases. Worthing Hospital, run by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, remains open. All services there, including surgery and outpatients, continue to operate normally. Staff received a memo today with the information a colleague had been diagnosed. SUS-201202-102651001

A new strain of coronavirus, proven to be more contagious than the original variant, has caused concern among decision makers leading to tougher rules for millions across the south of England.

But there is no evidence the new strain reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine, which has raised hope of an eventual return to normality.

Sir Peter said positive vaccine news benefits the whole world, not just our local community.

“I share in deep gratitude and praise of our local hospital, GPs, Care Home staff, and all of the hard workers and volunteers who are a part of our local health services,” he said.

“I asked Dame Marianne Griffiths (chief executive of Worthing Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) to give our appreciation to all her colleagues and to, where appropriate, share a festive chocolate with those working over the next few days.

“In a private call with Government ministers this afternoon, I asked that sensible priority be given to our dental staff, frontline police force and schools’ staff, teachers and support teams. Reassurance was given that these would be top of the list in the new year.”

Vaccines are currently being given out to the most clinically vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with certain pre-existing conditions, and frontline health workers.

Worthing’s coronavirus infection rate has risen dramatically recently, in line with other local authorities across the county.

As of the week ending December 18, Worthing had an infection rate of 137.5 cases per 100,000 people – an increase of 90 per cent from the week before.

While still below the national average, the sharp rise has forced decision makers to act.

The current priority list for the vaccine is as follows:

1 - residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2 - all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3 - all those 75 years of age and over

4 - all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]

5 - all those 65 years of age and over

6 - all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

7 - all those 60 years of age and over

8 - all those 55 years of age and over

9 - all those 50 years of age and over

NHS South East has been contacted for more information on the rollout.