Flu Campaign 2021/22
Please be advised that due to national delivery problems our annual Flu clinic has been postponed and is now provisionally on 9th October until we have confirmation of delivery. Please wait for further communication from us or call on or after 5th October 2021. At that time, bookings can be made via telephone 01923 820 866 or via Patient Access if you are aged over 65.
What is Seasonal Flu?
Seasonal flu occurs every year, usually in the winter. It's a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. The most likely viruses that will cause flu each year are identified in advance and vaccines are then produced that closely match them. Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. Flu symptoms hit you suddenly and severely. They usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, and you can often get a cough and sore throat at the same time. Because flu is caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.
Don’t wait until there is a flu outbreak this winter: contact your GP or practice nurse now to get your seasonal flu jab.
This year there are two different vaccinations depending on your age as of 31st March 2022. For those aged 65 and over the recommended vaccine is Fluad. We have ensured that we have sufficient stocks of the immunisations for our patient population therefore there is no need to panic or for you to seek to get your immunisation elsewhere. For patients aged 2 to <65 we have stock of the recommended vaccine, Flucelvax.
Nasal flu vaccinations for children (those aged 2 to 9) will not be released by NHS England until the beginning of September, however, the Flucelvax injection is licensed from the age of 2 years old and can be used instead of the nasal flu vaccination.
Who is Entitled to a Free Vaccination?
Eligibility for the Main Cohort:
· Over 65s
· Pregnant ladies
· Carers (providing they are coded as a carer)
· Patients with chronic diseases:
o Heart, lung, liver, spleen or kidney problems
o Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
o Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as cancer treatment or steroid treatment) (Flu is inactivated)
o Asthma (taking regular inhaled or systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admissions), COPD, Bronchitis
· Those living in long-stay residential care homes
We will be currently inviting all at risk patients and over 65. If you are not eligible on this list, unfortunately we are unable at this point to provide you with a vaccination at the surgery at this point. If you have not received a direct invitation but believe you should be included, then please contact reception. We will inform you of any changes to the guidance.
Anyone who became newly eligible for the flu vaccination last year due to COVID-19 or being aged 50-64, will be offered a vaccine in the second cohort, once we are allocated additional vaccines. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. A communication campaign will be targeted at these additional groups advising patients to wait for their GP or NHS team to contact them about receiving a free flu vaccination.
House Bound patients/Nursing Homes:
The Confederation will be arranging for housebound patients to be vaccinated via a home visit - all patients will be contacted directly for this to be arranged. If you are under the care of the District Nurses, they too will provide vaccination to those who are eligible.
All patients over 65 are eligible for the one off vaccine, in some cases patients may be eligible for the pneumonia vaccine every 5 years due to their medical history. Providing we have pneumococcal vaccinations in stock you will also receive this at the same time (different arm).
At present, anyone between the ages of 70-79 who has not previously been given the Shingles vaccination is eligible. If you are eligible when you receive your annual flu jab, providing we have shingles vaccinations in stock you will also receive this at the same time (different arm).
We have been advised by NHS England that individual practices will not be receiving supplies of COVID booster vaccines due to logistical and vaccine temperature constraints. COVID booster vaccines are being organised to be given in our COVID Hub, similar to the COVID vaccines, rather than via individual GP practices.
As we do not have enough information about the eligibility of the COVID booster vaccines, the order of eligibility or whether it can be given alongside the flu vaccine, you will be contacted once we have more information about this.
Nasal Flu Vaccinations:
Children that are eligible to receive the flu vaccine at the GP practice are:
· At risk aged 6 months – 2 years
· 2-4 years
· At risk aged 12-17 years
Children not at risk and in primary school (Aged 5-12 all children in year 7 will receive the vaccine in school. If you miss this vaccination in school, please contact them directly as we are unable to provide this vaccination.
Flu Clinic - On the Day
The flu season will run similarly to last year and the same social distancing principles will apply due to COVID-19.
The clinic is on 9th October 2021 and will run from 09:30 to 16:00
You will be given a specific time for your appointment to ensure we maintain social distancing and the safety of patients and staff at all times. It’s important you adhere to the timings within a 5-minute window to ensure we respect the safety of other patients and staff. If for any reason you are running late, please be warned that we will do our best to accommodate you, however, there may be a waiting period.
Please also note that if you are self-isolating because of contact with Covid-19 or due to travel, or you have developed any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 (temperature, cough or loss of taste or smell), then please do not attend the flu clinic and follow government guidance.
Please ensure you wear a facial covering to your appointment.
If you fail to wear a face covering or have a temperature then you will not be allowed into the building and will have to make arrangements for your vaccine at a later date.
There will be a clear one-way system to follow in and out the building to maintain social distancing and a member of staff will monitor this. Please follow social distancing measures by queuing up and following all safety signs.
Please read posters and advise us of any problems with you being able to have the vaccine.
For more information about the flu season please visit NHS.choices or Stay Well This Winter website.
Due to the increased safety requirements placed on this years flu clinic, we will not be able to answer any questions other than those related to your vaccine. The reception desk will be closed and you will not be able to collect any forms or ask any routine queries about your health.