Please do not contact the practice to ask for a COVID-19 vaccination. You will be contacted when you are eligible.
We have been asked by NHS England to start delivering the COVID-19 mass vaccination programme from 15 December. This will be done by working together with other local GP Practices (called a Primary Care Network) to provide the vaccines, rather than doing vaccinations here at the practice.
To enable everyone to get the vaccine in a safe and controlled way, a prioritisation list has been established so the vaccine can be delivered to groups who need it first.
We will contact you when you are eligible to receive the vaccine and provide you with information about location and date, so please do not contact the practice to ask for a vaccine before then.
We are working hard to plan the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, while continuing to deliver the largest ever flu vaccine campaign and supporting our patients with routine and urgent health requests. On that basis, we are unable to answer additional questions about the COVID vaccine.
However, to help answer your likely questions, we have tried to summarise the key information you need to know about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination campaign, along with sharing details of the way patient groups will be prioritised:
- The vaccine will be given in order of priority to those at highest risk first.
- We will be in contact with you with information about where and when you will need to receive the vaccine.
- Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.
- Please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.
Our PCN is working hard on coming up with the best solution to delivering the programme to our patients. We are exploring all options.
We have access to some limited additional funding to hopefully recruit some additional short term clinical and support staff to help us with this huge programme – however, we will still have to divert our own GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists, to complete this programme.
It will be tough, but we are keen to get started, and know that we can count on your understanding and support in the months to come.
Why is this programme different to the annual seasonal flu campaign?
While we still have no specifics about the characteristics of these new vaccinations, we do know that they won’t initially be delivered to us in single, pre-filled doses, as they do for flu vaccinations. Each vaccination has to be reconstituted and individually drawn up – which slows the process down. Each patient will have to have 2 doses at minumum 21 days apart.
Clinics will still have to be held on a socially distanced basis, and patients driving themselves to their appointment, have to wait 15 minutes post vaccination before they can leave the surgery/vaccination site. So logistically challenging!
Why work as a PCN – why not as individual surgeries?
The reasoning behind this is that the first vaccine (Pfizer) to be delivered is likely to be one with 975 doses which need to be delivered in 3.5 days – (195 vials each containing 5 doses). This will come with a diluent and the required needles and syringes. Once diluted the vaccine must be used within 6 hours.
It is unlikely a single practice would have sufficient numbers or clinical capacity to deliver this individually. In addition the package of 195 vials cannot be divided at practice level and shared with other practices due to the regulations related to the distribution of medications. This is also why you will have heard about us having to deliver the programme 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm – including bank holidays, Christmas day, Boxing Day ect. If we got 975 doses delivered on a Friday, we can’t just put it in the fridge to start using on the next Monday, as the vaccine has to be used up in 3.5 days.
The vaccine will be in short supply and we must try and keep wastage to a minimum.
As the programme progresses, and more vaccine becomes available, we may be able to adjust how we deliver the programme
Which patients will practices need to vaccinate?
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations has recommended the following order:
- older adults’ resident in a care home and care home workers
- all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over + clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- all those 65 years of age and over
- high-risk adults under 65 years of age
- moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
- rest of the population (priority to be determined) but current vaccines only for those aged 18 and over.
Practices do not have any control over this part of the programme.
- What to expect after your Covid19 Vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults
- COVID-19 vaccination: guide for healthcare workers
- COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for social care staff
- COVID-19 vaccination: consent form
- Covid Vaccination more information (MHRA)
- Why you have to wait for your COVID-19 vaccine