Winter Flu Campaign 2021
Last year saw the success of our largest ever flu vaccination campaign as well as the design and implementation of a new and complex Covid Vaccination programme. We are grateful to our colleagues, patients and carers for their part in supporting this lifesaving endeavour.
We are encouraging all eligible patients to take up this offer of vaccination. Last year saw a low circulation of flu in the community, so it is feared that natural immunity may have waned. This, combined with the potential to catch Covid and Flu at the same time make it all the more important to be appropriately vaccinated.
Who is Eligible?
- Adults over 65 years old (with patients over 50 to be vaccinated later in the season)
- People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- Pregnant women
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31st August 2021
- Children in primary school (predominantly vaccinated by the school nurses)
- Frontline health or social care workers
All eligible patients will receive an invitation letter, text or call from the surgery. These are scheduled to go out to patients throughout September. If you do not receive an invitation as expected by October, please contact the surgery to confirm your eligibility.
How are we vaccinating patients this year?
As in previous years, we will host a combination of drop-in clinics and pre-booked appointments. In order to manage these safely in the context of Covid-19 we will have to be more prescriptive as to when patients should attend for their vaccination, especially as our vaccine delivery dates dictate when we can vaccinate each group of patients.
Vaccine delivery dates
Each year NHS England and Public Health England release guidance regarding the different vaccines available and which should be used for each group of patients. This year, there are 2 main types of vaccines recommended based on the latest scientific evidence as to which will be most effective for the strains expected to be circulating. We order these from suppliers and they have varying dates when they are available to the surgery. Our expected delivery dates are as follows, and these inform when we can host drop-in clinics.
- For Patients over 65 - Delivery end of September
- For At-risk adults under 65 & patients over 50 - Delivery middle of October
- For Children - Delivery early September
Our drop in clinics will be by invitation only. All patients who are eligible will receive a letter informing them which clinic to attend, and at what time. Patients MUST bring this letter with them when attending for the vaccination. Not only does this confirm your eligibility, but it also allows for efficient recording of the vaccination for our staff. Anyone without a letter will be turned away.
Patients will be invited to one of 3 drop in clinics at the Surgery. Invitations will be split into 30 minute time blocks to spread attendees equally throughout the day.
THE BELOW DATES ARE AT SIGNIFICANT RISK OF BEING DELAYED AS WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF A POTENTIAL 1-2 WEEK DELAY IN DELIVERY OF THE VACCINES.
- Patients over 65 - Saturday 9th October 2021. (Provisional)
- At-risk Patients under 65 - Saturday 16th October. (Provisional)
- Patients over 50 - Saturday 13th November. (Provisional)
Your invitation letter will confirm your allocated time block as well as instructions and reassurance about the steps we are taking in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We will be inviting some groups of patients to book an appointment, rather than attend a drop in.
Children, patients on anticoagulants and those who have been previously instructed to Shield, will be invited to book an appointment online (must be registered - please book an appointment with the staff member named 'Flu Clinic') or over the phone.
Patients who are unable to attend their specified drop-in session will also be able book an appointment. We will be checking eligibility for all booked appointments, so we may contact you beforehand to confirm why you are entitled to the flu jab.
Appointments will be available throughout October, November & December (& possibly beyond).
Precautions against Covid-19
Whether you attend a drop-in session or booked appointment, we will be following strict infection prevention & control procedures and asking patients to socially distance. If attending a drop-in surgery there will be attendants in the car park helping patients queue safely. No matter how many people attend at once, social distancing will be maintained inside and outside of the surgery.
The clinician administering your flu jab will keep contact to a minimum and all staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitising regularly. Vaccinations will be given whilst you are standing if possible, and regrettably there will not be much opportunity for conversation. Please don't expect any queries not relating to the vaccination to be answered.
Weather permitting we may be able to offer patients the opportunity to be vaccinated without entering the surgery, although this will always be an option to maintain privacy - we would like patients to have the option.
To help us we ask that patients:
- Do not attend if they are unwell with Covid-19 symptoms - Call us for an alternative date
- Bring their invitation letter with them when they attend for their vaccination
- Attend during their allocated time slot.
- Follow the social distancing guides and pathway though the surgery as directed by a member of the team upon arrival.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, but please wear a vest or T-shirt so that a shoulder is readily available for vaccination.
- Wear a face covering if you are able to do so.
- Come alone if possible (unless attending with someone who is also receiving the vaccination.)