The COVID-19 Vaccination Programme: key points

 

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway. 

 If you are 50 years of age or older and have not yet received your first vaccination please contact us.  You only need to do this if you are a registered patient with us and if we have not already been in touch with you regarding the vaccine.  Or, if you have previously declined the vaccine and have changed your mind.

COVID-19 Vaccine Scam Warning

The vaccine is only available through the NHS and it is free of charge.  The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.  The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.  the NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.  The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents (such as your passport, dirving licence, bills or pay slips).  

If you believe a call to be fraudlent hang-up.  If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspiscious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

We are aware of a number of scams currently.  For example, there is a genuine NHS system called 'NIMS' (National Immunisation Management System).  As a system NIMS is not phoning anyone to make enquiries about the vaccine.  Please terminate the call if you receive a call where a person reports that they are calling you from 'NIMS'. 

If you are under 50 years of age  Please do not contact us, you will be invited for your vaccine when it is your turn

Information on the vaccine is available on the NHS.UK website

Do we have a mobile contact number for you? 

We will send out text messages to notify you about the vaccine.  If you have a mobile and have not provided us with your number please e-mail it to us at: info@westburysurgery.co.uk 

How do I get a vaccine?

We will contact you. When we contact you, please act quickly and attend your booked appointments.  Please continue to follow all the guidance - hand hygiene and social distancing in particular - to control the virus and save lives. 

We are getting lots of enquiries requesting early COVID-19 vaccination from patients or the families of patients who have illnesses that do not meet the criterial for call for vaccination before their age-group.  Higher age remains the greatest risk for getting more severe effects from COVID-19 infection.  This is set by the government and the JCIV (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), not us.  Please be reassured that we are keeping up-to-date with all guidance and there is no need to contact us to see which group you are in for the vaccine.  Please wait until we contact you. 

When you have an appointment booked for the vaccine please read the below before attending

Covid vaccination: a guide for adults

We are working as a network of six GP Practices in North Bristol.  Therefore, the vaccine will be administered at the Greenway Community Centre.  Please use the below link to take you to a helpful video about what to expect when you arrive for your vaccination

https://www.southmead.org/community-covid19-vaccination-hub/

We have tried to answer some of your questions below.  Please be aware that we are not able to book appointments with clinicians to answer individual queries. 

 

I've heard there are concerns around Astra Zeneca and blood clots?

Recently, there have been reports of a very rae condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination.  Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people shortly after the first dose of the Astra Zeneca (AZ) vaccine. 

Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.  This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.  This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problmes are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.  An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

Follogin advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI), we will be offering people under 30 who have not yet had their first COVID-19 vaccination, a choice of vaccine other than AZ.  If you chose to have an alternative vaccines you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you hvae considered all the risks and benefits for you.  This leafelt from Public Health England provides more information. 

If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering a blood clot as a side effect, you should have your second dose.  This includes people aged 18-29 years who are health and social care workers and unpaid carers.

The benefits of the AZ vaccine outweigh any risks for the vast majority of people and you should still book your COVID-19 vaccine when we contact you.  Please do not contact us requesting the vaccine.

 

When will I get the vaccine?

We are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. The order in which people are being offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).  We are no vaccinating everyone in the first 9 prioirty groups set out by the JCVI

People aged 50 and over

People at higih risk from coronavrius (clinically extremely vulnerable) 

People who live in care homes

People with a learning disability

People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus. 

Frontline Health and Social Care Workers

You may find it harder to book 1st vaccination appointmetns during April when vaccine supplies are lower.  

 

I've received a letter about booking my vaccination appointment - what should I do?

Letters are being sent inviting patients to book a vaccine appointment via the NHS website or by ringing 119. This being done by age cohort, in line with the JCVI guidance. This is an invitation to book an appointment at a mass vaccination centre - our local one is Ashton Gate stadium, local pharmacies are also participating. You can do this by following the instructions in the letter. You do not need to do this if:

  • You would prefer to get your vaccine at the practice. We can assure you that we have your details so you don't need to contact us - we will contact you when it's your turn.
  • You already have an appointment booked with your practice to get your vaccine.
  • You have already had your first dose with the practice - we'll contact you when it's time to come in for your second.

If you are unable to book an appointment using the details in the letter, don't worry. We have your details and we will contact you to invite you for an appointment very soon.

 

I am in an eligible cohort. Should I call the practice if I haven't heard anything?

While a vaccination programme of this scale will take some time, we can assure you that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. We ask that you don’t contact your practice directly – we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

 

Why haven't I had my vaccine when others the same age already have?

All the GP surgeries in our area are now offering the vaccine to their eligible patients. Staff have been working tirelessly to get this up and running over the last month but the scale of the vaccination programme means that this could not happen in every GP surgery at once. This is the same across the country. If you are in an eligible cohort and you haven't yet heard from us, you do not need to contact us directly. We can assure you we have your details and we will contact you when it's your turn.

 

When will I get my second dose?

The NHS is following new guidance from the Government’s expert advisors which says that prioritising a first dose for as many people as possible will save more lives. This is because even with just one dose the vaccine has been estimated to offer at least 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given. 

Therefore, as a key part of the national effort to protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, second doses will now be delivered in the 12th week following your first dose. We will be in touch to schedule your second dose appointment soon. Please can we kindly request that you do not contact us to request an appointmetn for your second dose.  We will contact you. 

 

I have a question about the COVID vaccine - what should I do?

There is lots of information available online.  You can also try the nhs website and healthiertogether. We will get in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated - you do not need to contact us to ask when this will be. 

Published: Apr 9, 2021

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