UWE walk-in clinic offers extra support for people worried about having Covid-19 vaccine

14 February 2022: A dedicated clinic is now available at the Vaccination Centre @ UWE Bristol to support people who want to have their Covid-19 vaccine but may need some additional support for any reason. They may dislike needles or be worried they may faint or have another reaction to being vaccinated. They might also suit children aged 12-15 who might like some additional support to have their vaccination.

Fear of needles and injection concerns are very common, affecting at least one in ten people. Having the Covid-19 vaccine, or any other vaccination, can be stressful for people for a variety of reasons and these Extra Care Clinics will be led by health care professionals who are very experienced in vaccinating. 

As more people come forward to have their Covid-19 vaccines in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), the fear or concerns about injections might be preventing others from being vaccinated.

Sue Jones, BNSSG Vaccination Programme Quality Lead said: “We want to support anyone in our area who is struggling to come forward for a coronavirus vaccine because they have needle fear, injection concerns or would like additional support to have their vaccination for any reason.

“Vaccination concerns, such as a fear of needles, are nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, and this is part of the reason why we have now made a special clinic available to offer support.

“The day before attendance we will ring to confirm your specific needs. At the Extra Care Clinic, we have highly trained vaccinators who will listen to your concerns and provide a safe space for you to talk about your fears and to have your Covid-19 vaccine.  

Not only is the Extra Care Clinic offering support to people with needle fear, but the clinic can also be attended by children, young people, and adults at risk of harm or abuse, needing confidential personal assistance.

The Extra Care Clinic is open for anyone aged 12 and over to have the coronavirus vaccine. You can find more information or book an appointment by visiting grabajab.net

Sue Jones added: “It is still important that people come forward for their first, second or booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. our Vaccination Team is working hard to ensure that no-one gets left behind.

“Please don’t let needle fear or injection concerns keep you from getting vaccinated. Come along and speak to one of our team. We are here to support you.”


Two million vaccinations achieved in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

Friday 12 January 2022: After just over a year of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the local NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) has reached the milestone of providing more than two million vaccinations to people in the area.

As of Thursday 13 January, 2,026,052 vaccinations have been given across BNSSG, meaning 84% of those over 16 have had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Geeta Iyer, Clinical Lead for the area’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, said:

“This is a tremendous achievement in such a short space of time, but we still urgently need people to get vaccinated and boosted to get the best protection against Covid-19.

“We know that many people still need to receive their Covid-19 vaccine to get the best protection against the virus. First and second doses still matter and our Vaccination Team is working hard, in partnerships across our region, so no-one gets left behind.

“The Omicron variant is still a major threat. Just like previous variants, Omicron is causing severe disease and deaths in our population, particularly in our most vulnerable people. Vaccination is the best protection. Omicron is milder in those that have been vaccinated, so we want to urge everyone to book their vaccinations and boosters now.”

There are lots of options for residents to have their Covid-19 vaccinations in our area. Details of all the vaccination options including dates and times of walk-in clinics can be found at www.grabajab.net


Bristol City show their support for Covid-19 booster vaccinations

20 December 2021: Earlier today, Bristol City Football Club visited a vaccination clinic at Brockway Surgery in Nailsea to have their Covid-19 booster vaccinations.

Players and staff arrived at the general practice on their branded team coach to lend their support to the vaccination programme and help encourage people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to have their Covid booster, as soon as possible.

Dr Jon Rees, Lead GP at Brockway Surgery, said: “We’re delighted to have boosted Bristol City, today. We hope the team making such a s

trong public statement about having their boosters, will help encourage others to have their Covid-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible.

“Bristol City and other local sports teams have been fantastic advocates since the start of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. It’s great that our local sports teams are encouraging vaccine uptake in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.”

Richard Gould, Chief Executive Officer of Bristol City, said: “I’m really pleased that so many of the team have had their booster, today. A lot of football games were cancelled over weekend and we wanted to come down, today, to help keep football going. I’d like to give credit to the NHS and to our players for being so informed and making the choice to have their Covid-19 booster.”

In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, we are scaling-up booster vaccinations in response to the Omicron Covid-19 variant by increasing the capacity of booked appointments at our existing vaccination sites. Your GP will be in touch to invite you to book an appointment for your Covid booster or you can book an appointment using the online National Booking Service or by calling 119. Some of of our clinics also have a local booking system.

You can find up to date information for all the vaccination options in our area at www.grabajab.net. Where possible, priority will be given to older adults and those in a COVID-19 ‘at-risk’ group.


Vaccination Programme announces £100k Reducing Inequalities Grants

15 December 2021: Today, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) COVID-19 Vaccination Programme announced the winners of its Reducing Inequalities Grant Awards, to support communities with funding for initiatives that address vaccine disparity and health inequalities. The most vulnerable people in our communities are those most at risk from the direct and indirect consequences of COVID 19; these grants are about communities coming up with solutions that work for their population.

The Programme received applications from 41 community organisations and following a rigorous selection process, nine initiatives from across BNSSG were chosen to receive funding of up to £10,000, for projects that help promote health and wellbeing; increase vaccination awareness, acceptance, and uptake; or address a particular community need around reducing health inequalities.

Reducing Inequalities Grant winners:

  • Bristol Somali Resource Centre
  • Bristol Somali Youth Voice
  • Heart of BS13
  • SEND & You
  • Shahporan Islamic Centre and Maternity Services at North Bristol Trust
  • Caafi Health CIC
  • Borderlands (South West) Limited
  • Bristol Horn Youth Concern
  • Chinese Community Wellbeing Society

 Clare Armour, Programme Lead for BNSSG Mass Vaccination Programme, said: “We had an overwhelming response to the BNSSG Reducing Inequalities Grants and are pleased to reveal the nine organisations whose projects will receive funding. The successful initiatives operate across a range of under-served communities across BNSSG; each organisation demonstrated a deep understanding of the barriers to vaccination faced by their community and approaches to help overcome these health inequalities.

“We would like to congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing the impact of their work on vaccination uptake in our area. A huge thank all the organisations who took the time to submit their compelling applications.”

“We recognise that large institutions such as the NHS don’t have all the solutions to tackling health inequalities or mitigating some of the effects of the pandemic, such as isolation and exclusion, that have affected many individuals and families across BNSSG.

“We hope that this grant will be a positive legacy of the BNSSG Vaccination Programme that continues our learning and helps embed new ways of working in collaboration with communities that proved successful as part of the COVID Vaccination Programme.”

The BNSSG Reducing Inequalities Grant builds on the work of the Vaccination Programme’s Maximising Uptake Group, which works in collaboration with communities to encourage people in under-served communities to have the COVID-19 vaccine. The Grant aims to empower local groups by funding projects they have designed to address local issues, in a way that works for their community.


One year milestone for COVID-19 Vaccination Programme as booster gap reduces to 3 months

8 December 2021: Today is the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccination to be given in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) at Southmead hospital.

The milestone comes on the day that people aged over 40, along with frontline health and care staff and those in high-risk groups, are able to have their life-saving COVID booster vaccination 3 months after their second dose, brought forward from 6 months.

Since 8 December 2020, our local vaccination programme has delivered 1,700,299 vaccinations, including 21,312 to our most vulnerable populations through our Maximising Uptake outreach programme. Our teams have worked tirelessly to vaccinate people against COVID-19 at 53 GP-run clinics, 2 large scale vaccination centres, 14 community pharmacy sites, 3 hospital clinics, in parks, in shops, at their place of work and in their homes.

Geeta Iyer, Clinical Lead for the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, said: “I am awed by the progress we have made in the Vaccination Programme in such a short space of time. In the past 12 months our programme has evolved from a highly clinical process with early vaccinations being administered in hospitals and GP surgeries to our position, today, with teams regularly vaccinating in workplaces, on the street and in community settings across BNSSG.

“It’s been quite a journey for everyone involved across our healthcare system and I want to say a huge ‘thank you’, on behalf of the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, to everyone who has been involved in this life-saving Programme. You really have made a difference.”

99-year-old Jack Vokes from North Somerset was the first person to receive his COVID-19 vaccination in BNSSG at Southmead hospital. One year on from being vaccinated, he said: “I can’t believe it’s been a year. I feel very lucky. I’d like to thank everyone involved very much for what they’re doing. God bless you all and have a very happy Christmas.”

With increasing numbers of confirmed Omicron cases across the country, vaccination is critical to bolster our defenses against this new variant. Please have your first, second or booster jab, without delay. People can get their vaccine by booking online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119, at a local clinic (visit www.grabajab.net for details) and GP practices are also inviting those who are eligible.


Reducing Inequalities Grants launched to support local vaccine uptake

Local COVID-19 Vaccination Programme organisers have launched a Reducing Inequalities Grant to fund initiatives that address health inequalities in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). The total value of the grant is £100,000 and community organisations are invited to apply for funding of up to £10,000 before 15 November 2021.

Reducing Inequalities Grants build on the work of our local Vaccination Programme’s Maximising Uptake Group, which works in collaboration with communities to encourage people in under-served communities to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

All registered voluntary, community or social enterprise groups in BNSSG are encouraged to apply for funding of up to £10,000 for projects that:

  • help promote health and wellbeing
  • increase vaccination awareness, acceptance and uptake
  • or address a particular community need around reducing health inequalities.

We recognise that large institutions such as the NHS don’t have all the solutions to tackling health inequalities or mitigating some of the effects of the pandemic, such as isolation and exclusion, that have affected many individuals and families across BNSSG”, said Clare Armour, Programme Lead for BNSSG Mass Vaccination Programme.

“The purpose of this grant is to build on the work that our Maximising Uptake Group has undertaken in collaboration with communities to encourage uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. We want to empower local groups by funding projects they have designed to address local issues, in a way that works for their community.

“Community groups have been hugely supportive of our COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and often, their support was given voluntarily. This grant provides the opportunity to continue and build on this work in a more sustainable way, by providing funding to underpin their efforts.

“We hope that this grant will be a positive legacy of the vaccination programme that continues our learning and helps embed new ways of working in collaboration with communities that proved successful as part of the COVID Vaccination Programme.”

Grant applications close at 4pm on Monday 15 November. For more information please download the documents, below, or email bnssg.massvaccination@nhs.net

Click here for the Reducing Inequalities Grant hub.