Two Sight Support Worthing Trustees recently attended a Vaccination Champions training session. The aim of the session was to educate its participants about how the COVID-19 vaccination programme works.
The following information is designed to help Sight Support Worthing members understand the COVID-19 vaccination programme and, in particular, any aspects that may be of particular relevance to those with visual impairment. This information has been interpreted by the two Vaccine Champions, and they have provided it in no particular order, although the point is in bold for anything believed to be especially important.
a. Everyone over the age of 70 is scheduled to be vaccinated by mid-February. Within the priority Groups, there is no specific order in which these people are contacted.
b. Patients will be contacted, usually by phone – you should not try to phone for an appointment yourself.
c. The second (of the two required vaccinations) will be up to 12 weeks after the initial vaccination.
d. The initial vaccine will take two weeks before creating an effective immunisation; normal COVID restrictions must be followed during that period.
e. All vaccines require a needle; nose sprays or other options are not yet available. If you have a needle “phobia” please make that clear when confirming the appointment so that you can be treated in a less public setting than might otherwise be the case.
f. The restriction “rules” do allow a family member or friend to transport you (or accompany you if it’s close enough to walk). That individual may be permitted to stay with the patient – but that is not always the case.
g. If you need transport, please contact the SSW office on 01903 235782 and either speak to a staff member or leave a message. We will do our best to find a SSW driver regardless of the appointment day or time. We are here to help – please use us.
h. The Sussex NHS management team has recruited a number of “Vaccine Champions” with the aim of promoting the vaccination programme, providing a reliable source of information and being a contact point for any questions/problems. Sight Support Worthing has two of its volunteers, as well as one member and the charity’s President as Vaccine Champions. So, SSW is well placed to ensure that all its members (and others in the locality) are fully briefed about the Programme. If you would like to speak to one of the Vaccine Champions do let us know and we will do our best to put you in touch with one.
We hope this information is useful to our members and their families. If you have any particular concerns that you think we can help with, please do get in touch.