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Mobile vaccination unit at work outside the former Debenham’s store in Hastings town centre on Thursday 15 July.

Pop-up vaccination and testing sessions in Hastings this week

Walk-in vaccination clinics will be held in Hastings town centre this week and a mobile testing unit is also operating in West St Leonards until Sunday as the health authorities deploy additional resources to combat the rising tide of infections. Report by Nick Terdre, photos by Russell Jacobs.

Extra vaccination and testing opportunities have been laid on in Hastings as confirmed cases of infections continue to rise fast in the country, a trend which is expected to accelerate from next Monday when many remaining restrictions are due to be lifted.

Sussex Health and Care Partnership have arranged walk-in vaccination sessions on the pedestrian precinct outside the former Debenhams store in Hastings town centre between 11.30am and 6pm on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 July.

These will be offering doses of the Pfizer vaccine to adults of all ages. No appointment is needed, but those attending are asked to bring a form of identity (photo not required) and their NHS number if known. Those who have already had one dose are reminded that they must allow a period of eight weeks before seeking a second.

Queueing for a jab from the mobile unit outside Debenham’s.

Vaccination at Hastings Centre on The Ridge or Laycocks Pharmacy in Ore, where the Moderna vaccine is available, can also be booked through the NHS booking system or by calling 119.

Vaccination rates locally continue to lag those elsewhere in the county. Up to and including 13 July, 77.5% of over -18s in Hastings had received a first dose and 59.7% a second dose, compared with 83.6% and 67.8% respectively for East Sussex, official figures show.

ESCC acts on Covid concerns

Concern at the rise in cases and high transmission rates has prompted East Sussex County Council to advise anyone who thinks they may have been in close contact with someone infectious to get a PCR test, even if they feel fine.

This represents an extension of previous advice that those with symptoms – high temperature, continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should get a PCR test. Lateral flow device (LFD) tests are also recommended for asymptomatic people.

A mobile testing unit will be operating at St Leonard’s Academy in West St Leonards from 9am to 3pm every day from today, Wednesday 14th, to Sunday 18 July. Appointments have to be pre-booked through the appropriate NHS booking system. A testing centre is also established in the car park at Ore Valley campus.

“I’d strongly advise you to book a test if you think you may have been exposed to someone with the virus, and of course if you know you have been exposed, or if you have symptoms, even mild ones,” said Darrell Gale, the East Sussex director of Public Health.

“The rise in cases here in Hastings is a concern, but by booking a test at the first suspicion of infection or contact, the community will be doing everything possible to identity and isolate the virus and protect each other.”

While cases in Hastings have risen rapidly in recent days, to 360 per 100,000, much fewer people are needing hospital treatment in East Sussex than in previous waves, ESCC said – the most recent figures show 11 people being treated with Covid at hospitals in the county.

In fact cases in Hastings have, possibly temporarily, peaked. After hitting 361.5 on 6 July, they fell back to 313 on 9 July. “Whether this is the Hastings’ third wave peak or the infection rate will start to increase again soon is anybody’s guess,” says HOT analyst Russell Hall.

HBC and partners develop plan

In her weekly video broadcast Hastings Borough Council leader Kim Forward said the easing of restrictions “comes at a time when the virus rate in our town continues to rise. We also have fewer people vaccinated here than the national average. We have been worried about this for some time and with our partners have been raising our concerns with health officials and doing all we can to help.”

It had been agreed with the chief executive of the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups to increase the number of places where the jab can be had and a plan was being developed to do this quickly, she said. Updated information could be found on the council’s website and social media channels (FB page).

Anyone having difficulty getting to a vaccination centre should call the travel coordinator line, 07871 603235.

Other walk-in sessions

Elsewhere in East Sussex the Health and Care Partnership has arranged walk-in vaccination sessions as follows:

Eastbourne Former Mothercare shop, Hampden Retail Park, Lottbridge Drove, BN22 9PD, Thurs 15th and Friday 16th, 8.30am-3pm

Newhaven Lower Place Car Park, Thursday 15th, 11am-4pm

Rye Tilling Green Community Centre, Mason Road, TN31 7BE, Saturday 17th, 8am-6pm, Sunday 18th, 8am-1pm, Tuesday 20th, 3-7pm and Saturday 24th, 8am-6pm.

There are also sessions at various locations in Brighton from today through to Sunday 18th – see full details of all pop-up and walk-in clinics on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website, where details of further sessions across the county will be posted as they are arranged.

 

This article was amended by Nick Terdre on 16 July 2021.

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Posted 17:23 Wednesday, Jul 14, 2021 In: Covid-19

Also in: Covid-19

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