It’s already that time of year where we begin to invite our patients to attend for the annual flu vaccination.
Flu is an unpredictable virus that can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy it’ll usually clear up on its own in about a week.
However, can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions.
Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia and it is recommended that the most vulnerable patients received a flu vaccination each year.
You are eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine if you are:
• 65 years old or over
• Currently pregnant
• Have certain long term medical conditions
• Living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
• Receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
• Children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (that is, born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018)
• School children up to school year 7 will be offered the vaccine at the education facility
Each year the practice prepares for the flu season in advance and based on the last year’s uptake orders the flu vaccinations in at least 9 months in advance. We are estimating that there will be an increased demand this year for the flu vaccination and the practice has taken steps to prioritise the most vulnerable patients.
It is understood that additional vaccines for patients aged 50-64 who do not fall into any of the above criteria’s are likely to be arranged by NHS England. We are currently awaiting information and instructions on when and how these additional vaccines will be available and administered. Therefore we are kindly asking patients aged 50-64 who do not fall into the above criteria to not contact the practice to book a flu vaccination. We will update our patients as soon we have more information.
It is paramount that we keep all our patients, the community and our staff safe in regards to the current Covid 19 pandemic. Therefore you will notice some changes to our usually flu clinics. As usually we will be offering weekend clinics and clinics during the week.
Changes we have made:
• We will be offering longer appointments to ensure that social distancing and cleaning can take place between appointments.
• Each clinic will be restricted to a limited number of patients and this will be strictly by invitation only.
• Where possible we will try to combine your annual chronic disease check up with your flu vaccination, to reduce your visits to the practice.
• We will have more clinics than in previous years, solely for the purpose of flu vaccinations.
• If you are attending on one of the dedicated flu clinics you will be greeted by a member of the support team who will be based outside of the practice front door. The member of staff will arrive you for your appointment and will offer further instructions on what you should do next.
• Staff will be asking patients to confirm if they have any coronavirus symptoms and will kindly signpost anyone attending with symptoms to not enter the premises and will signpost patients to testing sites
• Hand gel will be available during your visit.
• All staff will be wearing face mask and clinical team members will be wearing aprons, face mask and washing their hands between patients.
• Doors where possible will be left open to avoid touching of handles and surfaces
All in this together:
We are politely asking our patients to read and adhere to the following information in order to help us keep everyone safe, we ask our patients to:
• Wear a face covering; this could be a mask, a scarf, a full face visor or bandana.
• Attend alone for the appointment unless a carer is required.
• Attend your appointment on time arriving no earlier or later than 5 minutes.
• Attend only for the purpose of a flu vaccination, any other queries or concerns please contact the practice, via telephone, email or online.
• Dress in loose fitting, easy to adjust clothes in order to receive the vaccination in the upper arm area.
• Be prepared to possible queue outside, we hope to keep this to a minimum and see as many patients, quickly and safely as possible but we would recommend bringing an umbrella, in the likely event it may rain.
Lastly please DO NOT attend the practice if you or your household have any coronavirus symptoms, such as;
• A new continuous cough
• A high temperature
• A loss/change in your sense of taste or smell
• Have been asked to isolate by the track and trace service
• Have returned from abroad from a country that is not on the UK travel corridor list
If you do have any concerns or queries in regards to attending for a flu vaccination please do not hesitate to contact us.