Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020
This year sees the largest mass vaccination campaign in the most challenging of circumstances. To ensure we deliver safe, effective and efficient vaccinations we are using new clinic formats including ‘Drive Thru’ and ‘One Way’, collaborating with William Brookes School to enable social distancing.The above clinics will prioritise those identified by the Government and Public Health England as highest risk: Shielding patients and their household members, Care Home Residents and Pregnant Women. Any spare appointments will be given to high risk individuals.
This winter, because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NHS has the largest flu vaccination programme ever with vaccination now being offered to those aged 50 to 64 years old.
Who the programme is being extended to
Vaccinations are continuing to be offered to those in priority groups (such as those with long term health conditions), but there is now sufficient vaccine available to offer it to all those aged 50 to 64 years old regardless of whether they have a long-term health condition.
Why the programme has been extended
The flu virus kills thousands of people every year and hospitalises tens of thousands more. The aim of the programme is to protect those most at risk from flu (such as older people, pregnant women and those with long term health conditions).
This winter, with COVID-19 in circulation, the programme is being extended to those aged 50 and over because this is the age at which hospitalisations for COVID-19 start to increase.
It is important to prevent flu in this group, to protect these people from serious illness and reduce hospitalisations from flu. Also, research shows that if you get both flu and COVID-19 at the same time you may be more seriously ill. So vaccination is especially important this winter.
What you should do
If you are aged 50 to 64 years old (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2021) you will be eligible to attend for a free influenza vaccination.
The Practice has a limited number of vaccines currently available for the 50 - 64 year old cohort and we intend to hold clinics in December; both at the Practice and at William Brookes School.
We will be contacting patients via text to invite you to the clinic on a first come first served basis for this cohort so please book in as soon as you receive the text. If we receive a greater demand for vaccines than the number of vaccines available, we will put your name on a waiting list whilst we source additional vaccines.
If you have a long-term health condition that puts you more at risk from flu, you are in one of the priority groups who should not delay getting the vaccine. See NHS.UK <www.nhs.uk/flujab> to check the type of health conditions that this includes.
Flu vaccines which will be offered
There are several types of flu vaccine available, including an additional one this winter that has been used in the USA for several years.
There are vaccines that have low-egg content and egg-free vaccines. The injectable flu vaccines do not contain live viruses. None of the flu vaccines can give you flu.
Our next planned clinic is an APPOINTMENT ONLY Walk-In One Way System held at William Brookes School on
Saturday 12th December 2020 10:00 – 17:00
(car park available at the School)
This clinic will be for all those eligible for flu vaccinations – patients aged over 65 years of age, and those under 65 years of age with pre-existing conditions.
We will hold further clinics on the basis of need following these initial clinics.
This year those aged 50 – 64 without existing conditions are also hoped to be vaccinated. This group will be vaccinated once all those in the previously mentioned risk groups have been immunised.
What To Do Next…..
· If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible for a flu vaccination please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
· If you are eligible please contact the surgery Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the afternoon if possible. This is to prioritise clinical problems during the more busy periods of our phone system.
· If you are unable to attend one of the scheduled clinics due to issues with transport or access please let us know so we are able to make alternative arrangements.
· We are communicating details of future flu clinics via our text service and the practice website, so please ensure that you are signed up for our text service to get the most up to date information as soon as possible.
Many thanks and see you at a Flu Clinic soon!