This incredible milestone has been reached just 24 weeks into the vaccination programme.
This means that 90% of our most vulnerable residents (those in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation cohorts 1-9) have had their first vaccination, and 71% of these have now had both.
89-year-old Bidge Garton from Ringmer was one of the first people in Sussex to be vaccinated when the programme launched in December 2020.
Bidge has been a volunteer with the University Hospitals Sussex for more than 35 years. She started out delivering hospital menus to patients, before later gaining skills in counselling. Up until the pandemic she was based in the A&E department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, helping counsel bereaved families and give advice on the subject of organ donation.
Reflecting on the last year, she said: “When I got the call about the vaccine, I was so happy and thankful to be one of the first in Sussex and the country to receive the vaccine.
“It was an excellent day, and everyone was brilliant. I had absolutely no side effects and had received both doses before the end of the year!
“I have nothing but complete admiration for every single person involved in the vaccination programme. I don’t think they’ll ever know how incredible they are and what they’ve achieved.”
Elaine Foster-Page, Volunteer Marshall Coordinator at the Brighton Centre, and volunteer for Healthwatch Brighton and Hove said:
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed volunteering as a marshal at the Brighton Centre and being a part of the vaccination programme. The team has been inspirational to work alongside, and so dedicated. And it’s been wonderful to support so many people who have been isolated by the virus and to share in their joy and relief at being vaccinated so that they can start to see their friends and families again.”
This week the vaccination programme has been extended to those aged 30 and over.
The NHS in Sussex is urging anyone who is eligible and who has not yet had their vaccination to come forward and book their appointment.
Amy continued: “Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19, so when it’s your turn, please book your appointment and join our Sussex million who have already been vaccinated.
“We are working closely with communities and are looking at more and more ways to bring the vaccine closer to where people live and address barriers that may be stopping people from receiving theirs.
“For example, we have mobile vaccination teams currently in Brighton & Hove and Hastings, we have run Quiet Sessions at the vaccination centres for those who need a calm environment, and our teams have been visiting homeless shelters and sheltered accommodation to make sure no-one is left behind.
“It is really important to us that everyone has the opportunity to receive this vital protection and we will continue working with our communities as the roll out continues to the entire adult population in the coming weeks.”
If you are eligible and you have not yet received your vaccination, visit Book a coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) or call 119 to arrange your appointment.
Read more about the programme
You can read more about the Covid-19 Vaccination programme in Sussex, including FAQs about the vaccines, by visiting Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme | Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)