COVID 19 Vaccination Programme: an update on our current position
The Bell Surgery began the vaccination process on 16th December along with the three practices within their PCN as part of the first wave. The practice team has been working very hard in vaccinating their patients and we are delighted to report that we have vaccinated over 2550 patients. We have vaccinated or offered an appointment to all those in Priority Groups 1-4 that we have been able to contact. We have contacted all those with a mobile phone number to let them know the time of their appointment and will be calling the rest over the next few days.
We had begun to contact our Group 5 patients. This cohort includes patients between 65 – 70 years old. However, we were informed last week that although we have not finished offering appointments to all our patients in Group 5, we should move on to Group 6 which includes carers and adults who are in defined clinically at risk groups. We are hoping to have offered a vaccination to almost all of the patients in this group by the end of next week. The remainder of those in Group 5 will receive letters from NHS England offering them appointments in mass vaccination centres.
Some of you may have received a letter from NHS England inviting you to book for a Covid vaccination online or by calling 119. These will at one of the mass vaccination sites. Vaccination sites we are aware of are in Marlow, Kassam Stadium near Oxford and High Wycombe.
We have been informed that we will receive a Pfizer vaccination delivery next week and the week after. As long as we receive adequate vaccine supply we are on target to hit the government target of vaccinating everyone in Groups 1-4 by mid-February.
The rate at which we are able to put on clinics is reliant on the supply of vaccines from NHS England. This means that some clinics might need to be put on at short notice. The total number of weekly doses received is shared between practices in our Primary Care Network.
What to expect when you arrive for your appointment:
- We encouraged you to arrive at the time of your appointment and not before as there is limited space for waiting.
- You will be booked in by an administrator and called into the vaccinating room for your vaccine.
- In each vaccination room, there is an administrator who enters the data and a Doctor Or Nurse will check it is safe for you to have the vaccine before delivering the vaccine.
We have been performing the vaccines in the surgery and have strict social distancing measures in place. The service has been running very smoothly with very little delay for patients. We are really delighted to be offering this service. We are so eager for our lives to return to normal as soon as possible. Vaccinating the population as quickly as possible will enable this to happen. We encourage everyone who is offered a vaccine to be vaccinated. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who have helped marshall the car park and the queues. Without their help, our practice would have been incredibly stretched. We are always grateful for extra help with marshaling and if anyone would like to volunteer to help, please contact the surgery directly.
Patient-friendly information on Coronavirus
Accessible, high-quality information on COVID-19 is available in one place to make it easy for staff and carers across all health and care settings to find trusted information they can use with patients, families, carers and service users, quickly and easily.
Selected by HEE’s national NHS Knowledge and Library Services Team, Library.nhs.uk/coronavirus-resources provides a gateway to the best available resources, gathered from a range of relevant health and third sector providers. Updated regularly, the tailored content includes materials aimed at specific groups such as children and young people, older people and carers and for people with cancer or long-term conditions as well as providing resources in different accessible formats. Most recently sections have been added on long-COVID and vaccination.
Details & Q&As about the COVID 19 Vaccination Programme
The NHS has planned extensively to deliver the largest vaccination programme in our history. Through their position in local neighbourhoods, GP practices are well placed to reach out to our diverse communities and avoid inequalities in access. They have an important role in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme, alongside other providers.
Now that we have two vaccines that have been confirmed as safe and effective by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and once supplies are available to us, we can begin to roll it out to those groups who need it most.
The NHS wants to go as fast as it can and is recruiting more vaccinators and support staff from across the NHS and outside of it, all of whom will be trained, assessed and supervised.
Public statement – Published 2 December
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “This is an important next step in our response to the Coronavirus pandemic and hospitals will shortly kick off the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history.
“The NHS has a proven track record of delivering large scale vaccinations from the winter flu jab to BCG and, once the final hurdles are cleared and the vaccine arrives in England’s hospitals, health service staff will begin offering people this ground-breaking jab in a programme that will expand to cover the whole country in the coming months.”
When will I be vaccinated?
To enable everyone to get the vaccine in a safe and controlled way, a prioritisation list has been established with care home residents and staff and older people among the first to receive it.
How will I know when I will be able to get vaccinated?
The NHS will contact you when you are eligible to be vaccinated and inform you of the location and date. You will also see messages in your local community. You will be able to book an appointment, either using an online or telephone booking system so that you can choose the right time and location to attend.
What are the eligible groups?
You should have the vaccine when it is offered if you are:
- living in a care home for older adults
- a frontline health care worker
- a frontline social care worker
- a carer working in a care home for older residents
Then the vaccine will also be offered in age order to:
- those aged over 80 years
- those aged over 75 years
- those aged over 70 years
- adults on the NHS shielded patient list
- those aged over 65 years
- adults under 65 years with long term conditions (see conditions below)
Those aged 50 to 64 will be offered it later.
For more information about eligible groups: Covid Vaccine Eligible Groups
Where will I be vaccinated?
The NHS has well-established ways of delivering large-scale vaccinations across the country, for example the annual flu jab and routine immunisations for children and pregnant women, which are primarily led by GPs and community pharmacies and often delivered using local facilities. The delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme will build on these.
Given the current requirements for social distancing, and the number of people covered, you will either be asked to attend your GP surgery or another location, such as another NHS building or designated vaccination centre that will enable people to be vaccinated safely.
Which vaccine will I be given?
The vaccine patients receive will depend on supply. Except, those with allergies will be offered the Oxford AstaZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
There continue to be a number of other vaccines being developed and trialed, we don’t yet know which of these will be approved for use or when this might happen.
Any vaccines that are available will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people can be assured that whatever vaccine they get, it is worth their while.
What are the side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
Very common side effects include:
• having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worst around 1-2 days after the vaccine
• feeling tired
• general aches, or mild flu like symptoms
- The vaccine will be given in order of priority to those at highest risk first.
- We will be in contact with you with information about where and when you will need to receive the vaccine.
- Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.
- Please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.
Well-being while staying at home
Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Visit NHS Every Mind Matters for advice, practice advice and support groups.
If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, it’s important to get support.
Get urgent support now from Every Mind Matters
To stay fit and healthy whilst at home, try the NHS Home workout videos.
Advice for vulnerable patients
- Guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people
- How to get support for extremely critical vulnerable person
- Advice for people at higher risk – those who are 70 or older, are pregnant or have a condition that increases the risks from coronavirus.
- Pregnancy advice
Support for self-employed
Guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
- Rape Crisis England & Wales 0808 802 9999
- NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 – If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support
- Childline 0800 1111 – Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry
- MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on “Coronavirus and your wellbeing”
- YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and naxiety about Coronavirus
- ICON: Babies cry: You can cope
- SafeLives: Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID