End of Update
Our Flu vaccine delivery dates have been confirmed and we are now able to schedule the 2021 Flu Clinics.
Given the current Covid situation, we will be holding all our flu clinics here at the Surgery in the Basement Treatment Suite at the rear of the building. Many of you will have attended one of last year’s clinics so will know this worked extremely well.
When we are able to begin booking patients for their flu vaccination, we will be writing to all those who are eligible inviting them to call our dedicated Flu Line (which also doubles up as the Covid Line) to book their vaccination appointment. We will also be using a text message booking system, similar to that used for the Covid vaccinations where patients can book their own appointment directly into our system.
All clinics will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
We will be inviting patients broadly in line with how the Covid vaccinations were delivered, starting with the clinically extremely vulnerable and then by age from the oldest to the youngest. This ensures that those most at risk from having the flu are offered the vaccine first so they are well protected.
Further information for the eligible groups is as follows:
FOR THOSE AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER
We will receive the 65+ vaccine in two deliveries, one early in September and the 2nd in early October. We will be holding two over 65 clinics, one in the middle of September and the 2nd in the middle of October.
For the first clinic we will be inviting those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and then by age starting with the oldest. We anticipate we will able to offer all those aged 80 and over a vaccine from the first delivery. We will also be vaccinating our care home residents and those who are genuinely housebound.
We will then invite those aged 65 to 79 years to come in to be vaccinated from the second delivery in the middle of October.
FOR THOSE AGED BETWEEN 50 AND 65 YEARS
The vaccines for this cohort will be delivered in six separate batches, with the first arriving in early September and the last scheduled for the middle of November. Again, we will be inviting those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable first, followed by those in an at risk group and then those with no underlying conditions who qualify by age only.
Given the batch sizes we anticipate those who are vulnerable to have been offered a vaccine by the middle of October along with our Learning Disability Home residents and those in an at risk group to be called through the second half of October/first half of November. Those who have no underlying health conditions will likely be invited towards the middle/end of November.
FOR CHILDREN AGED 2-3 (Nasal vaccine)
Children aged 2-3 will be offered the nasal vaccine. We will be writing to parents inviting them to book as soon as we have nasal vaccine stock available. All other children aged 15 and under should be offered the vaccine at school.
The national influenza immunisation programme aims to provide direct protection to those who are at higher risk of influenza associated morbidity and mortality. Groups eligible for influenza vaccination are based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and include older people, pregnant women, and those with certain underlying medical conditions.
Since 2013, influenza vaccination has been offered to children in a phased roll-out to provide both individual protection to the children themselves and reduce transmission across all age groups to protect vulnerable members of the population.
The expanded influenza vaccination programme that we had last year will continue in 2021 to 2022 as part of our wider winter planning when we are likely to see both influenza and COVID-19 in circulation. This means that as a temporary measure the offer for 50 to 64 year olds will continue this year to protect this age group, as hospitalisation from COVID-19 also increases from the age of 50 years onwards.
As a temporary measure, the programme will also be extended this year to 4 additional cohorts in secondary school so that all those from years 7 to year 11 will be offered vaccination. Vaccinating children reduces transmission of influenza and JCVI have recommended that expanding into secondary schools would be cost-effective, particularly if COVID-19 is still circulating .
Therefore, those eligible for NHS influenza vaccination in 2021 to 2022 are:
- all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
- those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care staff employed by:
- a registered residential care or nursing home
- registered domiciliary care provider
- a voluntary managed hospice provider
- Direct Payment (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants.
All frontline health and social care workers are expected to have influenza vaccination to protect those they care for. A separate communication will follow about staff vaccination.
The influenza chapter in ‘Immunisation against infectious disease’ (Green Book), which is updated periodically, gives detailed descriptions of the groups outlined above and guidance for healthcare workers on administering the influenza vaccine.
FOR ALL GROUPS
Please wait until you receive your letter BEFORE contacting the Surgery. This will contain all the information you need including the dates and times of the clinics, how to book and will explain where you need to go and what to do when you arrive for your vaccination.
FOR THOSE WITH MOBILITY ISSUES
There is limited parking at the rear of the building and our staff will be happy to come out to anyone who would find it difficult to get out of the car. If you do not drive and would find it difficult to walk down the side of the building, please let our staff know when booking and they will arrange for you to be seen on the main floor.
Please note that we are still asking all patients to wear a face mask when coming to the Surgery.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE THE FLU VACCINE
If you do not wish to have a flu vaccine please let us know so we can remove you from the list and avoid us needing contacting you again unnecessarily. To let us know you can either sign the bottom of the letter you receive and return this to us, e-mail email@example.com with your full name, date of birth and a short message advising you do not want the vaccine, or if you receive a text message respond accordingly. We can then note your choice on your record.
IF YOU DO HAVE TO CONTACT US ABOUT YOUR FLU VACCINATION
If you do need to contact us about your flu vaccination, we ask that you do not call the main Surgery number. Our telephone lines are always very busy and the increased volume of calls may prevent someone who may be seriously ill from getting through. Our dedicated Flu line—01594 545329—will be manned daily between 11 am and 2 pm, and will be open longer when the clinics are available to book. You can also submit any flu queries via our website.
All the latest flu information will be available in Reception, regular updates will be added here on the website and also posted on our Facebook page.