Brighton and Hove Covid-19 vaccine push: Universities hold mass vaccinations, football fans can get jab on match day and drop-in sessions offered

The Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination programme is preparing for a big push in Brighton and Hove as cases continue to rise, especially among younger residents.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:52 pm

Around 1,7000 students at the city’s universities were given the vaccine over the weekend in a mass vaccination and targeted testing drive.

Pop-up and mobile vaccination sessions will take place in various locations across the city. Today (Friday, June 25) there are walk-in sessions at St Peter’s Church, York Place, Brighton, from 10.30am until 2.30pm. A Covid-19 vaccination bus will be stationed at Hove Lawns on Saturday (June 26) from 9.30am until 2.30pm offering Pfizer vaccinations to passers-by and beachgoers. People can also get their vaccine at Brunswick Square, Brighton, on Sunday, from 10.30-2.30pm. The bus was in the car park of Tesco in Hove on Wednesday.

And Whitehawk FC will be one of the first football clubs to offer the Covid-19 vaccine at a football match this weekend in another bid to get people jabbed. Whitehawk FC to offer the Covid-19 vaccine at a football match this weekend

The vaccine bus was at Tesco, Hove, on Wednesday this week
The vaccine bus was at Tesco, Hove, on Wednesday this week

The vaccine push comes after the latest figures revealed, in the seven days up to June 17, we had 334 confirmed new Covid-19 cases in Brighton & Hove which is a 54 per cent increase on the previous week and equivalent to a weekly rate of 114.8 per 100,000 residents. That’s higher than the South East rate of 57.5 per 100,000 and the England rate of 98.4 per 100,000. Brighton & Hove has one of the highest case rates in the South East of England.

The city council said the majority of new cases are still among 15 to 29 year olds, many of whom hadn’t been able to book vaccinations before this week.

Director of Public Health, Alistair Hill, said: “The ongoing increase in cases is a cause for concern. We all need to act now to reduce transmission and avoid the risk of more vulnerable people catching the virus. All adults aged 18 and over can now get their first vaccination. It’s encouraging to see how many young people in the city have booked or had their first jab in the first week it has been available to them."

City council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said an increase in cases of Covid-19 is a cause for concern for all of us, particularly for those who are yet to receive their vaccination.

Whitehawk Football Club will be offering vaccines during its community day on Saturday Picture by JJ. Waller

He added: “The big weekend of action is all about making it even easier for people to access their vaccination, taking it to different areas in our city and helping reach those who haven’t yet booked or made it to the vaccination centre. This is all work that builds the overall NHS vaccination programme and booking system, and the work we are doing to help reach particularly affected communities.

"The reality is we are a younger city in terms of our demographics – which means young people who have yet to become eligible or receive their second dose are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. We’re also a university city, and evidence from around the country shows university cities are more seriously affected by Covid-19 cases than other parts of the UK. Really targeted work is taking place with our universities. Over 1,700 vaccinations were delivered at university sites last weekend– building on the successful vaccination programme that has already seen young people come forward in droves. More than one million people aged between 25-29 booked a vaccine when their age group became eligible, in what the NHS described as a ‘blockbuster’ take up, and this is brilliant progress."

Mr Mac Cafferty said although very many of our young people are getting protected, there are still groups who are not eligible.

He added: "The data tells us that many more are coming forward to receive their vaccine, and fewer are becoming seriously ill overall. But the fact remains that even a small increase in the number of people that contract Covid-19 and need hospital treatment will put pressure on our NHS. This is all the more reason for all of us to keep following the guidance to help prevent transmission, even when we’ve been vaccinated.

A walk-in service will be at St Peter's Church, York Place, Brighton, today (Friday, June 25)

“Evidence is emerging about the devastating evidence of ‘long Covid’ and the 2 million suffering its many symptoms – and alongside no coherent strategy from government ministers to suppress the rise in cases, we still need to protect each other. I urge as many people as possible to take up their vaccination, or encourage loved ones to do so, as we look to the future out of the pandemic.”

The vaccines at Whitehawk FC on Saturday will be open to those attending its community day and match on Saturday from its TerraPura Ground in Wilson Avenue. People receiving their first dose will be prioritised but the team may also be able to support people to receive their second vaccine if vaccine supply on the day allows. The service is being offered by community not-for profit Social Enterprise Group HERE with help from the Eastbourne District Scout First Aid Association. Doors open at noon.