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Latest COVID Briefing Devon - Diverse Devon Together

Coronavirus Vaccination in Devon Briefing #47 – 26 November 2021



Key messages


  • The UK Health Security Agency has published further data showing the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy
  • The number of Covid cases in Devon hospitals has risen in this month. Covid cases continue to impact on staffing absences – do your bit to help the NHS by getting fully vaccinated.
  • Between 8 December 2020 and 21 November 2021 960,363 first doses have been given in Devon while 888,801 second doses have been given and 313,462 third and booster doses. A total of 2,173,817 doses. See the table below for a breakdown of the newly published data on booster doses.
  • Details of walk-in clinics are being regularly shared on NHS Devon CCG’s social media pages. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England’s site finder here. Appointments can be booked via the National Booking System
New UKHSA study provides more safety data on COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy
  • Analysis by the UK Health Security Agency in women giving birth has reinforced international evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have good safety record in pregnant women.
  • This is the first data published in England and it showed that those women who had received coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination had good birth outcomes.
  • In the 8-month period between January and August 2021, 355,299 women gave birth – of whom 24,759 had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine prior to delivery. Existing evidence shows women with COVID-19 disease in later pregnancy are at increased risk of severe disease requiring hospital and intensive care admission.
  • Vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease – no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021 (UK Obstetric Surveillance System data).
Rising Covid patient numbers in Devon’s hospitals
  • The number of patients in Devon’s hospitals with Covid-19 has risen substantially this month and is expected to continue rising as cases in the community increase.
  • In the week commencing 22 November there were 168 Covid inpatients in Devon, up from 111 in early November.
  • The increasing rates of Covid in the community also impact on staffing. Currently around 600 NHS staff in Devon are off work due to Covid. This accounts for around 1 in 4 NHS staff absences.
  • People across Devon are being urged to support the NHS by helping to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 and flu viruses. Update on vaccination following infection for under-18s
  • UKHSA have extended the deferral period for under-18s who have had a positive Covid test from 4 weeks to 12 weeks as a precautionary measure after review of the latest clinical data by JCVI.
  • 12-17 year olds at higher risk (with underlying conditions, unpaid carers, household contacts of immunosuppressed, or health and social care workers) vaccination should still proceed from around four weeks after a confirmed COVID infection.
    Studies show benefits of vaccination
    • Results from the first UK real-world study by UKHSA show significantly increased protection against symptomatic disease from Pfizer-BioNTech  vaccine booster dose in those aged 50 and above.
    • These findings show that 2 weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those with AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.
    • The ZOE COVID study, which Kings College London provides scientific analysis for, has compared vaccine-induced with natural immunity and found that while being infected with COVID-19 can provide some level of antibody protection, it’s not guaranteed for everyone, and the level of protection is lower than in people who have been vaccinated.
    High demand for booster doses at clinics
    • Vaccination clinics are continuing to experience high demand for walk inbooster doses and are increasing the number of booked appointments available where possible.
    • During very busy times people may have to wait longer than normal, priority may be given to booked appointments or clinics may temporarily pause walk in clinics to ensure social distancing and patient safety.
    • Members of the public have been thanked for their patience and understanding as staff try to manage high numbers of people
    Which vaccine for the booster dose?
    • Most booster doses will be an mRNA vaccine; either Pfizer or Moderna.
    • The guidance on the management of patients with a history of allergy has been updated since the beginning of the vaccine campaign with very few people now being contra-indicated to the mRNA vaccines.
    • There are very few patients who require an AstraZeneca booster even if they were recommended this as their primary course. Please review patients in line with the Greenbook information before referring them for an AstraZeneca booster.
    • Where mRNA vaccines are not suitable for clinical reasons, vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered in those who received AstraZeneca vaccine in the primary course.
      Vaccinations for people who are housebound
      • There is very high demand for home visits and we are requesting that people only ask for one if strictly necessary because they are been unable to access a healthcare setting.
      • The CCG is working with GP’s Community Services and Vaccine Centres to offer home visits where strictly necessary and may not be covered by mtheir GP.
      • People can contact the Vaccine Support Team with confirmation of their need for a home visit supported by their GP via d-ccg.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net 
      Process for third primary doses
      • The third primary dose is for patients who were severely immunosuppressed when they received their first or second dose and consequently will not have reached the same levels of immunity as others will after two primary doses. This is separate to booster doses.
      • Eligible patients can be identified by either their GP or their hospital consultant and issued a letter demonstrating their eligibility so they can attend a walk-in session at a vaccine centre, GP led site, pop up clinic or
        community pharmacy. Further guidance is available here.
      Vaccination data for Devon
      • 1,849,897 first and second doses have been given between 8 December 2020 and 14 November 2021, vaccination data published by NHS England and NHS Improvement shows:
      Managing challenging behaviour at vaccination sites
      • We know our staff and volunteers at vaccination sites are continuing to encounter challenging behaviour.
      • Staff and volunteers may find the free ACT security e-learning course helpful.
      • Anyone needing additional support after experiencing abuse or harassment can contact the Devon Wellbeing Hub.
      Other important information
      • Coronavirus testing centres, where people take the PCR tests, have reduced their opening hours in the evenings, closing at 6pm, rather than 8pm.
      • All health and social care staff are being encouraged to inform their employer or HR department if they have received their booster elsewhere or via the national booking system to support the collation of data.
      • St John Ambulance can provide support for boosters in care homes. More details here, support can be requested by via this form
      • People can apply for a COVID Pass medical exemption, by phoning 119 and asking for an application form; which will be posted if they are eligible. Find out more about COVID Pass medical exemptions on the government’s website.
      • If a member of the public has a current NHS number, is registered with a GP practice in England and believes they have missing or incorrect COVID-19 vaccination data, please advise them to call 119 and ask the call agent to make a referral to the VDRS team on their behalf. The VDRS team will then call the person back within 5 working days.
      • The School Age Immunisation service is run by Virgin Care who will manage any queries and can be contacted on 0300 247 0082 or VCL.immunisations@nhs.net
      • People who need support to have their Covid-19 vaccination can accesshelp through the Devon Vaccine Support Team at d-ccg.devonvaccinationsupport@nhs.net / 01752 398836
      Resources supporting uptake
      Further information
      For more information on vaccination and the health and care response to COVID-19, click on www.togetherfordevon.uk/priorities/coronavirus-covid-19 or the NHS website.