Flu & Covid vaccination programmes 2021
End of year update
As we approach the end of December 2021 we are able to celebrate the end of a successful booster campaign. The vast majority of patients have had, or been offered their covid booster.
Thanks to all the hard work of the surgery staff and the dedicated volunteers helping the team, we have been able to deliver the vaccination programme alongside our normal services without impacting our usual routine or urgent care, during this busy time of year.
Any patient over 18 requiring a booster who has not yet received an invitation can now call the surgery for an appointment, provided it has been 3 months since their second dose.
Any patients over 50 or at risk who have not yet had a flu jab are also able to book an appointment.
We will continue vaccinating in the new year, offering a number of prebooked appointments for patients just passing 3 months since their second dose, select immunosuppressed patients who require a 4th dose (these patients have been identified by the hospital and we will contact those impacted), as well as our evergreen offer of first doses for patients not yet vaccinated.
We are awaiting guidance for patients under 18, as to what will be delivered by the school service, and what involvement the practice will have.
Thank you to all our patients for their patience and kindness throughout the year as we have been delivering this new and challenging service.
Our plans have changed
Due to the recent announcement of the Covid Vaccination Booster programme, we are significantly modifying our plans for our winter flu vaccination programme. We hope to offer these vaccinations to patients together and so must run things slightly differently. Thankfully we are now able to offer both vaccinations directly from the surgery, rather than the Dore site we used previously.
The Covid-19 vaccine we have access to is the Pfizer vaccine, which still requires a 15 minute observation period after administration. This makes the larger drop-in session we have done for flu in the past very difficult due to the large volume of patients at once – there would be nowhere for the patients to wait!
We instead plan to spread our vaccination appointments throughout the week, also extending into the evening and weekends. To facilitate this, we will require patients to book a specific appointment via a link which we will send to patients via text message. At this appointment you will be offered both Covid Vaccine, and the Flu jab if you are eligible for this.
The Pfizer Booster dose should be given at least 6 months after the second dose, and is recommended regardless of which vaccine patients had for their primary course.
We have record of every patient’s second dose, so will can calculate when your booster dose is due. We hope that this will be as close as possible to 6 months after your second dose, but please be patient if this is delayed slightly, as we are unsure if other sites will be operating alongside us or not.
We will release appointments in batches, carefully monitoring the uptake of appointments and offering people an appointment as quickly as we can. We will send appointment text messages in the same priority order as the first doses.
The link which we will send you will start “systmonline.tpp-uk.com” and be unique to each patient. Please be reassured that this is a genuine link and will interface with our online appointment system, which may be familiar to many patients. You will need to verify your identity using you date of birth. If you share your phone number with a family member, you may receive a link each and should use the corresponding date of birth.
We will call the small number of patients who we do not have a mobile phone contact number for. We will also be arranging visits directly for our housebound and care home patients as their booster dose becomes due.
Who is eligible for a covid vaccine
The offer of vaccination remains open for people who for one reason or another have not yet had a first or second dose.
For specific vulnerable people, particularly the immunosuppressed, a third dose is strongly recommended, and is considered part of the primary course of vaccination, rather than a booster.
Patients over 18 (updated 14/12/21), or those identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as particularly vulnerable, or the household contacts of the immunosuppressed are all eligible for a Booster dose.
Patients need not have had their second dose with us at Dore to be invited for their booster dose. We should have received notification of all vaccines given at the mass vaccination centres, abroad, or as part of research so we can include these in our invitation process.
Important Message: the Omicron Variant and COVID Vaccination Boosters
Omicron is variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and was first identified in Southern Africa. Although we don’t know a lot about it yet there is evidence that it may be more easily transmitted between people.
To help reduce the risk of this, on 29 November 2021 the UK Government announced that it would extend vaccinations to offer:
- a booster dose to everyone aged 18 years old and over;
- a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system;
- booster doses from 3 months after the previous dose - currently it's from 6 months after the previous dose;
- a 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old.
If you are in one of these groups we are working on plans to offer you a booster as soon as possible and you will be contacted once these are in place. In the meantime please don’t contact the practice as we won’t be able to help. If have any questions please contact NHS 111 online or call 119.
If you are clinically vulnerable, over 40, or health and care staff you are already eligible for a booster jab six months after your second dose. Eligible people in Sheffield can now book their booster on the National Booking Service, by calling 119, or attend a walk-in clinic
Who is eligible for a flu vaccine?
- are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers
Attending the Surgery
As mentioned, the vaccination appointment will be with us at Nethergreen Surgery. Whilst we are grateful for Dore Surgery offering their building, now that we are able to transport the vaccine we felt it more convenient to offer it from our usual practice.
We will be continuing to follow all the necessary infection control procedures to minimise the risk of spread of flu or covid. We will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitising the room between each patient.
To help us, please:
- Do not attend if they are unwell with Covid-19 symptoms – Call us for an alternative date
- Attend on time for your appointment (not too early or too late)
- Follow the social distancing guides and pathway though the surgery as directed by a member of the team upon arrival.
- Wear a face covering
- Come alone if possible (unless attending with someone who is also receiving the vaccination.)
- Dress warm enough for a 15 minute observation period after your vaccine, which may be outside.
Please note that this is all subject to change, as we again tailor our plans to meet the rapidly evolving guidance. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please try to avoid calling the surgery with queries about the vaccination campaign if at all possible.