FLU VACCINATION 

Flu season will be a little different this year. Please read all of the information for your category before booking or contacting us as you will need to understand what will be different this year.

Age 65+ (born on or before 31 March 1956)

If you are 65 or older (or you will be 65 by 31 March 2021) you are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination. You will need to book an appointment now. We are planning to vaccinate this cohort in September and early October as this is the first vaccination batch we will receive. This category of patients must have a particular vaccine, so please make sure you book into an ‘over 65’ flu slot. You can find out more about the vaccination here. If you book into the wrong slot you will not be able to have your vaccination that day and you will need to rebook.

What you need to do now:

1) Please read all of the information below about ‘booking your appointment’.

2) Please book your appointment now even if you don’t plan on attending until October.

3) Ensure you read the section on ‘attending for your flu vaccination’ below.

Patients aged from six months to less than 65 years of age, in a clinical risk group such as those with:

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  • learning disability
  • diabetes
  • splenic dysfunction or asplenia
  • a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
  • morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
  • all pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)
  • household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable*
  • those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill*
  • Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza - please note your flu vaccination should be arranged by your employer.

* You will be asked to confirm who it is that you live with or care for. Please do not be offended, we may not have this information available to us and it will need to be recorded to validate your entitlement to the free NHS vaccine.

Patients in this category will have a different vaccine to those in the 65+ category. You can find to more about this here. These vaccines will be delivered to the practice in batches from October. You will need to book an appointment to have you vaccination. Please follow the guidance below on how to do this, ensuring you book an ‘under 65 at risk’ slot. If you book into the wrong slot you will not be able to have your vaccination on the day so please book carefully.

What you need to do now:

1) Please read all of the information below about ‘booking your appointment’.

2) Appointment slots will be released on 21 September. You will need to wait until then to book your appointment.

3) Ensure you read the section on ‘attending for your flu vaccination’ below.

Children

Children under 2

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they'll be offered an injected flu vaccine because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2. Please call reception to book an appointment on or after 21 September. You will not be able to book online unless you have a patient access account for your child.

Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020

Children in this category will receive a nasal spray vaccination. They are entitled to the vaccination and do not need to be in an ‘at risk’ group.  Please call reception to book an appointment on or after 21 September. You will not be able to book online unless you have a patient access account for your child.

Children in the at risk categories age 2-17

Children in the ‘at risk’ categories listed in the above section will be offered a nasal spray vaccination up to age 17. Please call reception to book an appointment on or after 21 September. You will not be able to book online unless you have a patient access account for your child.

School age children

Children who are not in the ‘at risk’ categories and are in primary school or year 7 will be offered the vaccination at school. We will not be able to provide you with information about this cohort as this communication will come directly from the school.

Patients aged 50-64 (on 31 March 2021) who are not in the categories above

Whilst we’ve received information that all 50-64 year olds may be eligible for a free flu vaccination as part of plans to protect more people against seasonal flu, these free vaccinations will be subject to delivery later in the year.

This allows us (GP’s and community pharmacists) to focus on those who are in an at risk group, such as pregnant women and people with long term health conditions. They will be given priority and offered the vaccine first; if you are in this category you will be contacted.

If you are aged 50-64 and not in one of the at risk categories you will be made aware in the coming months if you will be able to attend for vaccination. If the programme is extended this is likely to be November or December.

Of course if you wish to access a vaccine prior to this date you can pay to have this at your local pharmacy as in previous years, otherwise please wait for more information and keep an eye on our website and social media pages.

However, if you're aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.

Booking an appointment - for all patients to read

Age 65 + should book their appointments now, ideally online via our website. Appointment slots will be available for September and October.  

Age under 65 (only if you are in the categories listed above) – please book online on or after 21 September. All appointments available are bookable online. Please only call our reception team to register for online access or if you genuinely do not have access to the internet to book your appointment.

We would prefer you to book an appointment using the online appointment booking system on our website. You need to click the following link to Patient Access and use your patient access account to log in. This is different to your online consultation log in details. If you have booked appointments online before or ordered your medication online this is the account you need to use to book your flu appointment.

If you have not yet registered for patient access you can do this by contacting our reception team. They can verify you over the phone and you will be able to create an account. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS DIFFERENT TO THE ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ACCOUNT YOU MAY HAVE SET UP RECENTLY.

 Online consultations/contact the doctor /Engage Consult account (to contact the doctor with a medical or administrative query)

Appointment booking and medication ordering/Patient Access account (this is the one you need to book your flu appointment) Visit the Patient Access website directly from here

If you do not have access to the internet you can call our receptionist to book your flu appointment. Please note that our reception team are very busy so if you are able to book online please do so. This will make it easier for vulnerable and elderly patients to get through to the team to ensure they can book their appointment.

Attending for your flu vaccination

Important things you need to know before you come for your appointment:

  • Please wear a face covering to protect yourself, vulnerable patients and our staff
  • Please come alone unless you need help
  • Do not attend for your appointment if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Please arrive at your appointment time. Do not come early or late as this will hold up the clinics and mean patients will be waiting outside.
  • The car park may be busy, so please park elsewhere and walk where possible, saving the spaces for patients who are less mobile.
  • We  need to limit the number of patients in the waiting room and so you may be asked to wait outside until there is space to come in. Therefore:
  • Please use the toilet before coming for your appointment
  • Please bring an umbrella if it may rain
  • We do hope not to keep you waiting and with booked appointments this should be no problem, however this is a new way of doing things for us and so we want you to be prepared.
  • You will be asked to confirm that you do not have any of the symptoms of coronavirus when you arrive. If you have any of these symptoms please do not attend. Call the reception team during our usual opening hours and they will be able to advise you when you can have your vaccination.
  • You should use the hand sanitiser available when you enter the building.
  • The receptionist will check you in for your appointment on arrival for the Saturday clinics. If your appointment is during our usual opening hours you will need to check yourself in using the screen in the foyer or waiting room.
  • You will be called through on the TV screen in the waiting room for your vaccination in one of our treatment rooms.
  • For the Saturday clinics there will be a one way system. You will come in the main door and leave via a side fire exit.
  • If you book into a Saturday clinic please note the dispensary and reception will not be open for queries or medication collection.

Although things will be very different this year you can be sure the team are still smiling under their masks. 

 

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