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Teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are running a number of vaccination centres in Sussex. These centres are in addition to the local GP-led vaccination services that now cover all patients in Sussex.

Getting your vaccination - appointments and walk in clinics

The vaccination is now available to all adults in England aged 18 and over. Some sites are offering vaccinations to 16 and 17 year olds, including our vaccination centres in Brighton and Chichester.

If you're aged 18 or over (or will turn 18 within 3 months) you can book through the national booking system at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. 

Appointments cannot be booked directly with any of the centres, so please do not contact them, the building owners or the local council directly.

Our Brighton vaccination centre offers a walk in service, which means you can turn up without an appointment and receive your vaccination. Just bring one piece of ID with you, and your NHS number (if you know it).

Please remember that you must leave at least eight weeks between your first and second doses.

Full details, including which vaccines the centres are offering, can be found below in the 'Our vaccination centres' section below.

Details of other walk in clinics across Sussex are available on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

Update 24 September: Chichester vaccination centre has moved

Our Chichester vaccination centre has now moved from Westgate Leisure to a new purpose-built venue in Northgate car park. The postcode for the new location is PO19 6AA.

If you had an appointment at Westgate Leisure your booking has automatically been transferred to the new venue. You should receive an email or text message confirming the change of location.

Please be aware that vaccinations at this centre are currently by appointment only. We are unable to accept walk ins.

Read the full information about the new location.

Update 20 September: Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

Information about vaccinations for 12-15 year olds can be found on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

Update 17 September: Eastbourne Vaccination Centre Services move

Vaccination services move from the former Mothercare store to Sovereign Harbour Community Centre from Sunday 19 September.

Everyone will booked appointments has been contacted about the change of venue.

More information is available here

Update 30 August 2021: Brighton vaccination centre has moved

Our vaccination centre has moved from the Brighton Centre to the former Topshop store at Churchill Square shopping centre.

From Monday 30 August 2021, all appointments and walk in vaccinations are at this new site. If you have an appointment booked on or after this date it will be transferred, so please come along to see us at the new site at the same time, on the same day. You will receive and email and/or text message confirming the details.

Access to the new vaccination centre is through the front door – this is the entrance on the street, opposite Marks and Spencer on Western Road. You are not able to enter the vaccination site via the shopping centre. 

Anyone receiving their COVID-19 vaccination at our vaccination centre is entitled to one hour’s free parking in the Churchill Square Orange Car Park. 

Full details can be found under 'Our vaccination centres'.

Update 30 August 2021: Vaccinations for 16 and 17 year olds

We are now offering a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 16 and 17 year olds at our vaccination centres in Brighton (former Topshop store) and Chichester (Northgate car park). Brighton is offering a walk in service but you will need to book an appointment for Chichester. 

Update 16 July 2021: Second dose intervals

Our Vaccination Centres follow the current national guidance set out by the JCVI, which states that COVID-19 vaccine doses must be given at least eight weeks apart.

We are aware that people are seeing mixed messages about this, which is causing some confusion, however having your second dose at least eight weeks after the first will give you the best possible protection.

The manufacturer recommended dose intervals were based on data at the time of the clinical trials. Public Health England and JCVI now have real world data from the billions of vaccinations given worldwide that show a longer dosing interval between first and second doses offers individuals even more protection. This is especially important in the context of rising case rates and the delta variant.

We will not give an individual their second dose any earlier than eight weeks unless there is a clinical reason to do so.

Thank you for your understanding.

Update April 2021: Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it's not yet clear why it affects some people.

If you have a vaccination appointment booked, please attend as planned. The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus, so it is important that you still come forward and get this vital protection.

If you have already had your vaccination, there is no change to your planned second dose unless you had had significant side effects with the first dose.

If you experience any of these symptoms between four days and four weeks after your vaccination, please contact 111 immediately:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that's unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

A Government statement about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine says:

“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.

“As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

“Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

“The government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible.

You can find more information about the vaccine on the NHS website. There is also a factsheet about the COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting, which you can read here.

You can also find the answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

Attending your appointment

There are plenty of signs at each vaccination centre to show you where you need to go. We also have plenty of staff and volunteers on hand to help you and answer your questions.

Remember to wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and stay at least 2m away from other people. We have a one way system in place and measures in place to help you.

Please do not arrive more than five minutes before your appointment time as space in the buildings is limited and you may need to wait outside until your appointment time.

Our centres are well ventilated for your safety, so please dress warmly. 

If you need extra assistance, please make yourself known to one of our friendly staff and volunteers and they will be happy to help.

Getting to your vaccination appointment

If you have no means to get to your COVID-19 vaccination appointment, free transport is available to help you attend. 

Please book your vaccination appointment first, then call to speak to a travel coordinator on:

  • 01444 275008 (if you live in West Sussex)
  • 07871 603235 (if you live in East Sussex

The booking service is available Monday to Friday, from 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm.

The travel coordinator will ask:

  • Do you have access to transport to attend your vaccine appointment?
  • Do you have a family member, friend or carer who can help with transport?

If neither of these options is available to you, the travel coordinator will arrange transport, including any additional needs such as wheelchair-friendly vehicles.

All transport providers have signed up to a COVID-19 safety policy to ensure that all precautions are in place for a safe journey.

Need to cancel or change your appointment?

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please call 119 and they will help you to rebook. Alternatively, if you received an email confirmation of your appointment, it will contain a booking link which you can click to cancel and rearrange your appointment.

More information about the vaccination programme in Sussex is available on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

Our vaccination centres

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust runs the following vaccination centres: 

Former Topshop store, Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton, BN1 2TE

Open from 8.30am to 8pm every day.

The centre offers Moderna to adults aged 18 and over for first and second doses.

Pfizer is available to 16 and 17 year olds.

Appointments are available for young people aged 12-15 years old at Churchill Square Vaccination Centre. Find out more and book your appointment through the National Booking System

Walk in vaccinations are available for anyone aged 16 and over (walk ins are not available for 12-15 year olds). You can come to the centre at any time between 8.30am and 7pm and have your vaccination without an appointment. Please just bring one form of ID with you. Remember that you must leave at least eight weeks between your first and second dose. 

You may need to wait a short amount of time at our walk in sessions, but we will see you as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience. If you are short of time, you can still book an appointment at nhs.uk/covidvaccine  

Access to the vaccination centre is through the front door – this is the entrance on the street, opposite Marks and Spencer on Western Road. You are not able to enter the vaccination site via the shopping centre.

Please be aware that access to toilet facilities is restricted when Churchill Square Shopping Centre is closed. You can check the opening times on their website.

Parking
Anyone receiving their COVID-19 vaccination at our vaccination centre is entitled to one hour’s free parking in the Churchill Square Orange Car Park.  Please note: the car park closes at 8pm.

Follow these instructions to claim your hour’s free parking while you have your vaccination:

  • Park in the orange car park (Churchill 1), which is located in Regency Road East, BN1 2RU. The vehicle height restriction is 2.13 meters
  • Enter the car park via lane 1 (left hand lane)
  • On arrival take a ticket from the car park barrier
  • Explain to the Churchill Square Security Officer that you are attending for a COVID-19 vaccination. You will need to provide proof of vaccination appointment for that day (showing the confirmation you have received on your phone is fine).
  • The security officer will then validate your ticket.

Your 60 minutes free parking begins from the minute you enter the car park. Any additional parking will be charged at normal rates.

Accessibility information

The front entrance of our vaccination centre (on Western Road) is fully accessible to anyone who has mobility issues or needs some assistance.

If you are using the free parking in Churchill Square’s orange car park and are unable to make your way to the street level entrance, you can get to the centre through an entrance on level one of the car park. Just follow the Topshop/Topman signs (please note: this doesn’t take you through Churchill Square shopping centre, it is a separate entrance within the car park).

Northgate car park, Chichester, PO19 6AA (adjacent to Chichester Festival Theatre)

Open from 8.30am to 7pm every day.

Vaccinations at this centre are currently by appointment only. Please call 119 or book online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine

This centre offers Pfizer for first and second doses. Please make sure that your second vaccine is the same type as your first.

We are also offering Pfizer as a booster dose for people most at risk from COVID. You can find further details on the NHS website.

Appointments are available for young people aged 12-15 years old at Northgate Vaccination Centre. Find out more and book your appointment through the National Booking System

The vaccination centre is fully accessible, but if you have any questions or concerns, please make yourself known to one of our friendly staff or volunteers on arrival. They will be able to help if you need extra support or need information about the vaccination centre.

 

Vaccine information

The COVID-19 vaccination is administered at the top of your arm, so please bear in mind the clothing you wear on the day.

You can find out more information about the vaccines at:

If you have questions about the vaccination, you might find this information leaflet useful: A guide for older adults

More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex, including the GP-led vaccination services, is available on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.

 

Frequently asked questions

Eligibility and booking an appointment

How do I get an appointment at a vaccination centre?
The COVID-19 vaccination is now being offered to all adults in England. You can make an appointment through the National Booking System at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. Alternatively all of our centres are offering walk in appointments. Full details are available in the 'Our vaccination centres' section.

Who do I contact if I have any problems with my appointment?
Appointments are organised by the NHS national booking service. They can be contacted free of charge on 119.

Are the vaccination centres still open even if it snows?
Yes, our vaccination centres remain open in bad weather. In the unlikely event that your appointment needs to be changed, someone from the national booking team will contact you.

If you are unable to make it to your appointment because of bad weather, you can call 119 to rebook your appointment for another day.

Can I receive my second vaccination at one of SCFT’s vaccination centres if I received my first dose elsewhere?
Yes. You just need to make sure that your second dose is the same type of vaccine as your first. For example, if your first dose was the Pfizer vaccine, you need to make sure that your chosen location is also offering the Pfizer vaccine for your second jab.

How do people use the national booking service?
You can book your appointment through the national booking service, either online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. It will show you all available appointments within a 60 mile radius of your location.

At the vaccination centre

What can I expect when I attend my appointment at a vaccination centre?
Please arrive no more than five minutes before your appointment as queuing at our sites can be difficult. If you do arrive early, please dress warmly as you might have to wait outside. This is to make sure that we maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe.

We are asking everyone who attends an appointment to wear a face covering, unless you are exempt from doing so.

Please do not attend your appointment if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus:

  • a new continuous cough
  • high temperature
  • loss of taste or smell

While you wait for your vaccination you will be asked some questions by NHS staff:

  • Are you currently unwell with a fever?
  • Have you ever had any serious reactions to a vaccine that needed admission to hospital?
  • Do you have any allergies?

Staff will be on hand to help you if you answer yes to any of these questions.

People who have tested positive for coronavirus cannot have the vaccine until at least four weeks after their symptoms began or the date of their first positive test.

You will also be asked if you have any special requirements, such as language interpretation/translation, a disability that will make the process difficult for you and require additional support, and whether injections make you feel particularly unwell or feint. Our trained NHS staff will be there to help you every step of the way, and can take you to a more private area if you need extra support.

You will also be asked to give your written consent to having the vaccine. Staff will help you through this process. All the information that you provide is treated in the strictest confidence and stored safely and securely.

After these questions, you will be asked to queue for your injection, keeping socially distanced from the person in front and behind.

You will enter a special area where trained NHS staff will give you your injection and look after you. The whole process should only take a few minutes. You will be given an information leaflet about the vaccination, which should answer any questions you may have. You can read it here.

Can I bring someone with me for support?
Yes, if you need a relative, carer or friend to accompany you to get your vaccine that is absolutely fine, but please limit this to one person as space is limited and we need to carefully manage the number of people inside our centres at any one time to keep you and our staff safe.

Are there any precautions I need to take before or after I receive the vaccine?
You should continue to follow existing advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as this will enable you to avoid becoming ill with COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, before and after vaccination.

Please wear a face covering when attending the vaccination clinic.

How long do I have to wait after getting the vaccine before I can leave the centre?
Everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine will be observed for any immediate reactions during the period they are receiving any post-immunisation information and confirmation of their second appointment, if required.

Questions before vaccination

I’ve had COVID-19 already/tested positive for antibodies, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes, you should still be vaccinated, although not until at least four weeks after the onset of symptoms or the date of your first positive test.

There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the vaccine when it is their time to do so.

I don’t know anyone who’s had COVID-19, so why do we need a vaccine?
The number of people worldwide who have died with COVID-19 has passed four million, with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections.

People continue to get infected, and once the virus starts to spread it can do so rapidly. Even if you, your family or friends haven’t experienced it firsthand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. Protect your family and others. Being vaccinated will help to protect you and reduce the spread of this deadly virus.

Do I have to wait after getting the flu vaccine before I can get the COVID vaccine?
Current recommendations are that you should wait for seven days after having another vaccination before having the COVID-19 vaccine. This is to avoid incorrectly attributing any side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I get the vaccine if I’m pregnant or if I’m planning to get pregnant?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

Full information for women of childbearing age who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding can be found here

I have a health condition. How will I be sure the vaccine is safe?
The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine. Any person with a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. A second dose of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer BioNtech vaccination.

Vaccine recipients should be monitored for 15 minutes after vaccination, with a longer observation period when indicated after clinical assessment.

Women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding should read the detailed information here.

Can the vaccine affect fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of COVID-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.

Questions after vaccination

Will other measures (social distancing/face coverings/lockdowns) still apply to me if I’ve had the vaccine?
Yes, you should still act to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community and stick to the regulations.

Can I still spread the virus to others if I am vaccinated?
The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent you from getting COVID-19 infection, this should reduce the chances of you being able to spread the infection by becoming ill. However, as the vaccine is new it is not been possible to establish if vaccination will prevent carriage of the virus in the nose and throat of people who have been vaccinated. Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend.

If a person has received the vaccination and is subsequently notified that they have been in direct contact with a positive case - are they still required to isolate?
From Monday 16 August, if you have received both doses of the vaccination, or are under 18 years old, you are no longer legally required to self isolate if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID019. Full details are available on the Government website.

What percentage of the population needs to get the vaccine to have herd immunity?
When a high proportion of a population receive an effective vaccine it becomes difficult for the disease to spread, this gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies and other people who can’t be vaccinated which is known as herd immunity. It is not clear what proportion of people would be required to be vaccinated to achieve this because the vaccines against the disease are new and COVID-19 is a global pandemic infection.

Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend.

Questions about the vaccine itself

Will the vaccine become a yearly injection like the flu vaccine?
Discussions are still underway regarding the need for, and timing of, booster vaccinations. The latest information is available on the Government website.

How effective is the first vaccine injection without getting the second one?
It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best protection. While the first dose acts as an important immune response primer, the second dose is needed to boost your body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus providing the best protection for you.

Which vaccine will I get?
You will be offered a vaccine which has been approved by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as safe and effective and recommended by the JCVI for persons of your age or risk group.

Is one vaccine better than another?
Each candidate vaccine will have completed a full programme of research, including considerations of vaccine efficacy and safety. Each vaccine will be reviewed by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which will grant approval and licencing of vaccines if they meet the required effectiveness and safety requirements. Any vaccine offered will be effective and safe.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
As people have to complete a course of two vaccinations and the programme will be delivered in a phased approach to ensure those most at risk are vaccinated first, it is not possible to choose one vaccine over another.

Is it a live vaccine?
No. They are therefore suitable to use in those who are immunosuppressed, although the response may be sub-optimal and other measures to reduce risk will need to continue to be observed.

Who can get the vaccine?
All adults over 18 years of age are eligible to have the vaccine. In August 2021 the Government announced that all young people in England aged 16 and 17 will also be offered the vaccine. Full details are on the Government website.

There are very few individuals who cannot receive the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Where there is doubt, rather than withholding vaccination, appropriate advice should be sought from the relevant specialist, or from the local immunisation or health protection team, to allow individuals to make an informed decision.

The vaccine should not be given to those who have had a previous systemic allergic reaction (including immediate-onset anaphylaxis) to:

  • A previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
  • Any component of the COVID-19 vaccine being offered

or to individuals with:

  • Current COVID-19 infection or history of COVID-19 infection within the last four weeks.
  • Severe illness and a high fever on the day of vaccination.

Vaccine recipients should be monitored for 15 minutes after vaccination, with a longer observation period when indicated after clinical assessment. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative.

Have the vaccines been tested in people over 80 years old or just in younger populations?
The vaccines have been tested in people aged 80 years and above. SARS-C0V-2 vaccine trials have only just begun in children and there are therefore, very limited data on safety and effectiveness in this group at present.

If I receive a RNA-based vaccine what are the implications for it tampering with my DNA in longer term?
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is a messenger RiboNucelaic Acid (mRNA) vaccine. The mRNA that is used to make a virus protein is read by your cells and that protein is produced for a short time. The code for creating that protein is never incorporated into your DNA, mRNA is read directly by the cells and a protein which generates a protective immune response is produced from it. The vaccine will therefore not affect your DNA.

Is there gluten in the vaccine as I am coeliac?
Gluten is a family of proteins found in certain cereal grains. COVID-19 vaccinations do not contain gluten.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine lead to people having a positive COVID-19 nose or throat swab test?
No. The vaccines being used produce a protective immune antibody response which can be measured by serology blood tests. They do not affect a PCR swab test, which is the basis of diagnosing COVID-19 infection by detecting viral RNA in the nose and throat. PCR tests will be used as part of the vaccine effectiveness assessment in those who are.

How long do I have to wait between the first and second doses of the vaccine?
You must leave at least eight weeks between your first and second doses of the vaccine.

What happens if I don’t go for my second appointment?
The first dose of both COVID-19 vaccines will provide short term protection. It is important to get the second dose to provide more full, longer term protection against COVID-19.

Will the vaccine fully protect me against COVID-19?
The current vaccines have demonstrated a high level of protection against COVID-19 but no vaccine provides 100% protection. However, as more people in the population are vaccinated with an effective vaccine the risks of circulating virus should increase protecting those people who either do not respond fully to the vaccine or who are unable to have the vaccine because of allergic reactions.

If I have the vaccine will I be immune for life? Can I still catch COVID-19 after I’ve been immunised?
Duration of protection remains unknown, and further doses may be necessary.

Has the vaccine been rushed? Is it safe?
For a vaccine to reach the general public it will have to work and be safe.

There may be a misconception that vaccine research takes a long time but it isn’t the research that takes the time – it’s all the steps beforehand, like getting funding and approval. What’s sped up in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is the funding. The UK Government funded trials to get them up and running quickly.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have sped up the process of approval – things like administrative paperwork that used to take months is now being done in days. This is what’s brought down the time for delivery of the clinical trials.

Processes have been streamlined and run in parallel. The length of the trials themselves has not been shortened, and the usual safety measures remain in place and high standards must still be met.

It has also been enabled by new technology, including the ability to rapidly manufacture vaccines. And supply – the vaccine is being produced already so that as soon as it’s known to be safe and effective it can be made available.

What happens if I experience side effects/adverse or unexpected events, how do I report it?
Vaccines are very safe. As with all medicines, side effects can occur after getting a vaccine. However, these are usually very minor and of short duration, such as a sore arm or a mild fever. An uncommon side effect is swelling of the local glands. More serious side effects are possible, but extremely rare. Tests have been done in thousands of adults to ensure the vaccine is safe.

At the point of vaccination, you will receive information about how to report any adverse events. It is essential that any events are reported and investigated. The safety of patients/ recipients is paramount.

What’s in the vaccines? Will they have any ingredients which are unsuitable for some religious groups, vegans or people with allergies?
Patient leaflets explaining the different vaccines and ingredients will be developed and information made available to people prior to vaccination so they can make an informed decision.

The Pfizer vaccine does not contain any meat derivatives or porcine products.

The British Islamic Medical Association has released a position statement recommending the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for the Muslim community. You can read it here.

Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to any component of the vaccine being offered should not receive it. A second dose of the same vaccine should not be given to those who have experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of it.

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine contains polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is from a group of known allergens commonly found in medicines and also in household goods and cosmetics. Known allergy to PEG is extremely rare but people with this allergy should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Patients with undiagnosed PEG allergy may have a history of unexplained anaphylaxis or of anaphylaxis to multiple classes of drugs. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain PEG and is a suitable alternative.

What about treatments, are there effective ways to treat COVID-19?
There are some treatments that have been proven to make a difference, for example antiviral drug remdesivir can reduce the length of illness. Two steroid drugs, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, have been shown to save lives but only in people who are seriously ill in hospital.

However, it is best not to get the illness at all, rather than get it and treat it. A vaccine can help stop you getting it, lessen the impact of the disease and slow it spreading. This will help stop others getting it and passing it on.

COVID-19 vaccination scams

We are aware that fraudulent text and email messages are being send to patients about COVID-19 vaccinations.

It's important to be on your guard, as new scams emerge regularly.

People are receiving a text or email notification of their ‘vaccination appointment’ and are being asked to confirm it by clicking on a link.

This looks very similar to the genuine texts being sent to patients to arrange their appointments at the GP led vaccination services.

Please follow the advice below.

  • The COVID-19 vaccination is ONLY available from the NHS and it is FREE – you will never be asked to pay for it or give your bank details.
  • If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up.
  • If you receive a text or email that you believe to be fraudulent please delete it. Please be assured that if you don’t respond because you are worried and it is a genuine text or email, you will remain on the vaccination list and be contacted again
  • If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.

Guidance on official NHS texts

  • An official NHS text message from your GP practice or the organisation arranging the appointments for your GP practice such as the local GP Federation will include their details such as the name of the Practice, group of Practices or the name of the Federation working on their behalf. It may also include details of the vaccination centre. Scam text messages and emails usually don’t include his information
  • An official NHS text message from the national booking system will be a reminder text so will include details of your booked appointment include date, time and location

If you have any further concerns about something you have received please contact the Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme team on sxccg.vaccineenquiries@nhs.net