Our COVID-19 vaccination programme is going well. In Kingston, more than 54,000 residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. The NHS is currently offering the vaccine to people who are 50 and over, residents and staff in care homes, people who are extremely clinically vulnerable and health and care staff. The NHS vaccination data for South West London boroughs, parliamentary constituencies and middle layer super output areas continues to be published nationally and can be found on the NHS England website.
As you may have read, nationally the vaccine supply during April will be limited. We are still on track to meet the targets of offering the vaccine to everyone in JCVI cohort 1-9 by 15 April, and to all adults by the end of July.
We will soon be offering the vaccine to younger people and we want to make sure we are ready to support them to come forward to get their vaccine when it’s their turn. To better understand the views, barriers, and motivators of our younger citizens (18 to 50 year olds) we have launched a short survey. In order to make sure the information from the survey can influence our programme, the survey will close at midnight on Tuesday 23 March 2021.
Unpaid carers are now able to book their vaccination appointment with the National Booking Service. Individuals will need their NHS number and their date of birth and can then either phone 119 or visit the National Booking Service online. They will then be asked if they are an unpaid carer and will need to answer some screening questions to determine their eligibility (around the nature of their caring role and whether the person they are caring for is vulnerable). This service is now available for all adult carers as well as young carers aged 16 and 17 (who will be referred to their local GP booking system as there is currently only one vaccine approved for use in under 18s).
As you know, surge testing provides temporary community-level testing for COVID-19 and is a part of the government’s plan to monitor and suppress the spread of coronavirus, and to better understand new variants. Since the programme launched in February, targeted, temporary surge testing has taken place in South West London including specific areas in Croydon, Merton, and recently testing has begun in Wandsworth – see wandsworth.gov.uk for more details. As well as supporting our local authorities by sharing messages about the importance of testing we are also assuring residents that having the vaccine when offered remains the best line of defence against COVID-19. We would therefore encourage all people in South West London, unless otherwise advised, to attend their vaccination appointments as planned, regardless of whether there are additional testing measures being implemented in your area.