Programme update for COVID-19 Vaccination in Cheshire and Merseyside – 28th January 2021

Across Cheshire and Merseyside, health and care organisations are working together and are delivering the vaccine to those who need it most, as fast as they can. There is a planned schedule of delivery targeting particular population groupings, in line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI). Partners across the health and care system have been working to make sure that the people in the priority cohort who may be reluctant, worried or in isolated groups are reached and vaccinated.

The Partnership is working with colleagues in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities, as well as other partners, to ensure consistency and clarity. Whilst much of the communication strategy is being directed at a national level, delivery is through local partners. Letters to individuals, particularly around the mass vaccination sites, have been produced nationally and these have been clarified to ensure that recipients know the alternative ways they can access a vaccine (once they have been invited).

Over 330,000 residents across Cheshire and Merseyside have now been vaccinated. Due to this success, there is confidence within the system that the requirement to vaccinate all in cohorts 1-4 according to JCVI advice by 16th February will be met ahead of time. After this, vaccinating people from cohorts 5-9 will then commence.

Please support this work by reassuring residents that they will be invited for a vaccine as soon as possible. The NHS is asking that people do not call their GP, hospital, CCG, local authority or any other agency to ask about or try to book a vaccine, and instead wait to be invited.

Workforce vaccinations – social care

Many colleagues working within the health and care sector have been offered the chance to be vaccinated, in particular those who work in care homes due to the JCVI prioritisation.

However, due to the complex makeup of the workforce in this sector, many people working in care homes, in particular younger females, have yet to receive the vaccine.

It is incredibly important that as many people outlined in the JCVI’s prioritisation groups are vaccinated and colleagues across the system are being asked to encourage this particular group to get the vaccine.

There can be a number of reasons for resistance and hesitancy, with some in this group concerned about fertility, which is why the Partnership has produced a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which can be used to explain the benefits of the vaccine and dispel any myths about fertility.

Vaccination sites

With 73 vaccination sites now in operation across Cheshire and Merseyside, additional capacity has been added over the last few weeks, including the mass vaccination centre in St Helens which has so far carried out almost 4,000 vaccinations. Further mass vaccination sites are planned along with pharmacies. Three additional community pharmacies in Crewe, Alsager and St Helens started vaccinating from this week and more are planned over the coming weeks.

All but two Hospital Hubs are now live and work is ongoing to ensure the remaining two Hubs are live this week. All Hospital Hubs have started well and are significantly contributing to the overall numbers of people being vaccinated in the region.

As of 22nd January, a total of 51 Primary Care Network sites are live and operating across all nine Places this week. There is a continued focus on the over 80s and care homes as the top priorities, as well as cohorts 3 and 4 (over 70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable over 16) in line with the national programme. To date, approximately 70% of over 80s and 25% over 75–79-year-olds across Cheshire and Merseyside have been vaccinated.