Central vaccine centre will be opened in Chichester
The fantastic staff and volunteers at the Selsey and Tangmere vaccine centres are doing a brilliant job.
However, Chichester residents are still anxious, with many feeling uneasy about being invited to Portsmouth for their vaccine.
The Observer has backed calls for a central vaccination site for weeks now, asking the NHS why there could not be one and why some who had offered buildings were turned down. Last week, they said they were looking again at sites and this week, it seems there is hope at last.
The Observer understands that an announcement about a new vaccination centre in Chichester city centre is due to be made as early as tomorrow (Friday).
It comes as jabs have continued to be given to residents at clinics in Tangmere Village Hall and The Selsey Centre, with staff at the two sites having vaccinated 13.6 per cent of the population as of Monday – above the national average of 13.4 per cent.
It means that 80.8 per cent of patients aged over 80 belonging to the Chichester Alliance of Medical Practices (ChAMP) – a group of eight GP practices – had been vaccinated, along with 20 per cent of patients aged 75 to 79. Patients over the age of 70 are now being invited for jabs.
In an update on its website, the Selsey Medical Centre said there had been lots of ‘emotional moments’.
“Being in a position to phone someone who has been confined to their home for months to tell them that they can come for their vaccination, and to offer them some hope at last, is a real privilege, as is working alongside so many caring and dedicated volunteers and talented, experienced clinicians,” a spokesman said.
Some residents in Chichester have been sent letters inviting them to attend large vaccination centres in Portsmouth or Brighton.
The spokesman said: “It obviously helps spread the work of vaccinating the whole adult population if you take up the offer and we would encourage you to do so if possible. If you can’t or do not want to attend one of these centres, you do not need to take any action – the booking team will contact you to invite you to one of the local hubs at Tangmere or Selsey, although you may have to wait longer for this.”
Meanwhile residents living in all care homes for older people in Sussex have now been offered the vaccine. Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester, said NHS teams had done a ‘fantastic job’.