Covid-19 vaccinations: our survey findings and latest on prioritisation and process

The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is picking up pace across Sussex. You can read the latest local vaccination news here but please keep an eye on the vaccination info in our coronavirus advice section, which we will update as and when we get more information.

Findings from the Covid-19 Vaccine Survey January 2021

We are really grateful to the 97 parent carers from across Sussex who responded to our recent survey with the parent carer forums on the Covid-19 vaccination programme. We’ve collated all the responses and fed your ideas, concerns and questions into the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) tasked with planning vaccinations across Sussex. This includes:

  • Parent carers are mostly concerned about when they and their children or young people will be vaccinated and you are seeking further information to better understand this. You asked about vaccine trials for under 16s and whether young people aged 16-25 who are vulnerable due to their SEND can be prioritised to receive the vaccine. Parent carers are also concerned that they might fall ill themselves while awaiting the vaccine, preventing them from being able to care for their children. While it’s good news that parent carers are to be prioritised for the vaccine in group 6, you told us that greater clarity is needed around how parent carers will be identified and called forward for their vaccine. Families would prefer that a whole family be vaccinated together.
  • Nearly a quarter of parent carers are worried about the potential side effects of the vaccine on them or their children, especially those with a health condition. Parents would like to receive objective information that explains the benefits versus the risks of being vaccinated. They question the effectiveness of the vaccine, especially on different strains of the coronavirus, how long the protection lasts and the different types, content and dosage.
  • Parents are anxious about how their children and young people will cope with the vaccine appointment and receiving an injection. They ask that appropriate adjustments are made, including ensuring parent carers are allowed to attend appointments to support their children. People are currently being invited to attend a vaccination site, or may be invited to have their jab at their GP surgery, which might be preferable as a more familiar venue, but as things progress parents would be keen to see more options. Parent carers said they need inclusive communication and social stories to reduce anxieties and build understanding about the vaccine.

Download a full copy of the Covid-19 Vaccination Survey Report here.

What do male carers think?

If you’re a male carer – a dad, stepdad, grandad or otherwise – and you’re living in Brighton & Hove, please complete this quick survey about Covid-19 vaccines for the Amaze Face2Face project and Dads Group: Dad’s Vaccination Survey – January 2021

The survey asks about your vaccination questions and concerns and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Please note: this is a similar survey to the one above which the parent carer forums shared pre-Christmas, so if you filled that one in then you don’t need to do this one! We’re keen to gather this specific male feedback to help support the CCGs in reaching all carers to be vaccinated when their turn comes.

Priorities for vaccination

In Sussex, first dose vaccination appointments are now available for all paid, employed (including agency) health and social care staff, as per priority 2 in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations. This includes paid PAs but, at this stage, it does not include volunteers.

Appointments at hospital hubs are being released for staff to book into and details of this are being made available by local authorities. We believe local authority Direct Payments teams, or agencies running these services under contract, are also issuing letters demonstrating PAs are eligible to access these slots.

You can find out more information including popular FAQs on the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme webpage.

The latest JCVI priority lists show all individuals aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, and adults who provide regular care for a disabled person (including unpaid parent carers), are in group 6. We expect that it will probably take a while longer before the vaccine is offered to people in these category.

We are working with the CCGs, the local parent carer forums, Care for the Carers East Sussex, the Carers Centre Brighton & Hove, and Carers Support West Sussex to come up with a suggested process for how carers will be identified and contacted to come forward for their vaccine when their turn comes. We hope to have more news on this very soon.

At present, there are no plans for vaccinating under 16s, though we understand that vaccine trials may be about to begin.

Keep checking our coronavirus and health page for new vaccination information.

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