Covid-19 vaccine centre approved for people living in Rye and Battle
The Covid-19 vaccination centre for people living in rural Rother, including Rye and Battle, will be Etchingham Village Hall, it has been announced.
The decision was confirmed on Thursday (January 14). The centre has made its first order for vaccines, and an exact date for when vaccines will start to be administered will be confirmed soon.
The first order is not expected to be enough to vaccinate everyone over the age of 80 in Rother and, therefore, people will be invited in age order – oldest first.
Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery said it realised getting to Etchingham will be a struggle for some people but urged everyone to accept their appointment as home vaccinations are not currently available.
Etchingham Village Hall will serve as a vaccination hub for the area from Burwash to Rye.
Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery said: “We have had a large number of questions about why the vaccines can’t be done at Northiam. The regulations from NHS England state that all Covid vaccinations must be given in a locality based vaccination centre which for us is Rother, which stretches from Burwash to Rye.
“People may have seen vaccines being given from GP surgeries on the news. These tend to be larger GP practices which will be acting as the vaccination centre for their locality.
“We are still hoping the regulations will change to allow the vaccine to be given at individual general practice level but there is no certainty that this will happen and we would therefore strongly encourage everyone to attend Etchingham if they are offered an appointment there.”
Battle Town Council also confirmed the news and said it is hoped vaccines can start at some stage this week.
A spokesman said: “It has been agreed that rural Rother GP practices (including Battle) will be served by a vaccination hub at Etchingham village hall which is expected to go live at some point this week (W/C 11th January 2020). The Etchingham vaccine centre will be run by those within the Sussex team who have stepped up to help.
“If you are within this area, your GP surgery will have signed off its patients to be handled by the Etchingham vaccination hub. The next step will be for each surgery’s patient list to be contacted. Please note the NHS will contact you with an appointment when it is your turn, please do not contact them beforehand.
“Although this is not as local as many residents would like Huw Merriman MP has advised the reason for the location of the hub is due to the nature of the Pfizer Vaccine and the logistics surrounding it.
“The aim is to ensure that stocks of Astra Zeneca get delivered soon, so that residents can receive this vaccination at a more local level.
“In addition to the Etchingham Vaccination hub, the Conquest Hospital is also serving as a Hospital vaccination hub.”
What about Hastings and Bexhill?
People living in Hastings can receive their vaccine at the Hastings Centre at King’s Church on The Ridge.
The Conquest Hospital is also operating as a vaccine hub.
In Bexhill, people can receive their vaccine at the Sidley Medical Practice.