Covid-19 Vaccinations Update
Update - 10th June 2021
Since the Government announcement on the 14th May that second vaccinations are to be brought forward from 12 weeks to 8 weeks, the practice has been working really hard to catch up on patients who needed to be vaccinated sooner as well as continuing to vaccinate cohort 11 & cohort 12 with first doses. We would like to say a massive thank you to our team, volunteers and the league of friends for all the help with the recent extra clinics. We’d also like to thank patients for their cooperation for following social distancing rules at the clinics and we hope you have found the vaccination service that we have provided has been quick and efficient.
Our phone lines are becoming busier as restrictions ease and we are consious that the lines need to be available to patients who require urgent care. If you think you have not yet been contacted, please either give us a call or we would much appreciate if you used an econsult which you can find on our homepage and you can select an admin query. Please also remember, anyone over the age of 25 can currently book an appointment at a vaccination hub via the NHS website.
We continue to invite the majority of our patients via text message which enables you to click on a link and select an available appointment. You may also receive a telephone call from a member of the team to book you in to a clinic. If you think that we may not have your up to date mobile number, please inform the practice as soon as possible.
Lastly, Devon CCG has sent out communications this week that there has been a fall in patient numbers coming back for their second vaccination. We would like to remind patients that the JCVI (Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations) recommend that patients need two doses of the covid-19 vaccination to be fully vaccinated. Unfortunately we are finding a lot of patients are not attending for a second vaccination as they are working or on holiday. This puts pressure on to our next clinics and there is no guarantee we will have extra doses for catch up. We appreciate that more patients are returning to work now, but we strongly encourage employers to allow employees to attend for their second vaccination so you are protected from coronavirus.
Please continue to follow the current Government guidelines.
Ways in which we contact patients to book a covid vaccination appointment
Second Covid Doses
The practice would like to reassure patients that we have not been given any indication that second doses for patients will be disrupted. As per guidance patients will receive their second Covid vaccination at around 8 weeks.
The practice will contact you closer to the time to offer you an appointment via text message or a telephone call from a member of our team.
New guidance for the Astra Zeneca (Oxford) covid vaccination
Following on from the announcement from the MHRA & JCVI regarding the Astra Zeneca (Oxford) vaccination, please see the new guidance below about the new extremely rare side effects.
Are you aware that excess weight can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19?
If you suspect you have a BMI in excess of 40, please contact the practice to book an appointment to have your weight confirmed. You may be eligible to receive your Covid Vaccination sooner than your age cohort permits.
Health and Social Care Workers
The practice is currently planning covid vaccinations for health & social care workers and we need to know if you are eligible. If your work involves providing direct face to face health or social care, please can you complete an eConsult which you can find on our homepage and select the admin option.
Example eligible roles inclues -
Doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses, vaccinators, paramedics, ambulance technician, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, funeral operatives/mortuary technicians and ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients such as ward clerks, hospital porters and cleaners.
For any residential and care home staff we will make direct contact with your employer to arrange a vaccination.
Unpaid carers are currently not included in this cohort, but we do hope to be able to offer you a vaccination soon.
Covid Vaccine Q&A
Why are patients being asked to not contact their GP surgery regarding covid vaccine invites?
As well as the extra work involved of inviting, setting up clinics and vaccinating patients, the practice must still be available to patients who require urgent and non urgent care. We must ensure that our phone lines are accessible to a patient who may have an urgent issue and needs to speak to a clinician.
The practice is currently inviting other patients in my age group, why have I not been contacted yet?
Each cohort that the practice invites for a vaccination has hundreds of patients. Once a notification of a delivery is received the practice sets up a clinic and works through our cohort list for the amount of vaccinations we have been allocated.
The vaccination programme is being carried out by PCN’s (Primary Care Networks), within our PCN we are partnered up with Townsend House & Axminster practices. If you have not received an invite, you have not been forgotten, we are working through the cohort list and you will be contacted and offered an appointment.
How will the practice contact me?
Patients are being contacted via telephone. If a patient does not answer, if possible a message will be a left and a note will be made on their record that they have received an invite so that if they call back, a receptionist can book an appointment.
Unfortunately if a clinic is fully booked when you call back, you will go back on the cohort list and receive another invite when the next clinics are arranged. The practice may also send you a text message with instructions on how to book an appointment.
We have also begun contating patients via text to send them a link where they can book into a clinic at a suitable time when we have clinics available.
Are the clinics safe?
Yes, the practice has worked very hard to ensure that social distancing measures are adhered to, masks are worn, sanitiser is available and that patients enter and exit through different parts of the building. We ask that patients do not arrive early for their appointments as we need to ensure the footfall within the hospital is kept to a minimum. If you arrive too early, you may be asked to wait outside or come back at your appointment time.
We have received excellent feedback from patients who have attended an appointment at Seaton hospital.
Do I have to go to a vaccination hub?
No, although the practice feels that this is a positive that a patient may have two options of either going to a hub or waiting to be contacted by the practice to have your vaccine locally. It is a patient’s decision whether they wish to attend an appointment at a vaccination hub or to wait until invited by the practice.
PLEASE do not contact the practice to ask when we will be inviting you for an appointment so you can decide which is most suitable.
Can I choose which vaccination I have?
We encourage patients to take the first invite received regardless of the vaccination as both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca (Oxford) are licensed and there is no guarantee for how long you may have to wait to receive another vaccination. The practice has no control over the vaccinations that we receive.
Patients under 40 must have a Pfizer vaccine as opposed to Astra Zeneca in line with government guidance.
I suffer with allergies, can I have the vaccination?
Patients who have had any anaphylaxis reaction in the past have been advised to have the Astra Zeneca vaccination. If you have any concerns, this can be discussed with the vaccinator during your vaccination appointment who has a list of questions which includes a question about previous allergies. A clinical decision can then be made whether or not to go ahead with the vaccination.
Why am I not included in a cohort?
The practice must follow the instructions set by NHS England and the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) as to who we can vaccinate. The majority of cohorts are based on age, except for cohort 6 which is patients 16-64 with underlying health conditions. Although you may feel your condition makes you eligible, the practice must adhere to the health conditions that have been set within cohort 6.
I am a carer, can I be vaccinated?
Devon CCG has updated practices about which carers are currently eligible for a vaccination within cohort 6.
- If carer is the primary carer for someone is who in cohorts 1-6 i.e. they care for someone who is clinically vulnerable to Covid 19
- Are registered as an unpaid carer with their GP practice
- Or are in receipt of carers allowance
I am a health & social care worker, can I be vaccinated?
The practice has worked very hard to ensure that all health & social care workers have been vaccinated. We rely on patients informing us that they work in health & social care, so if you have not had a vaccination, please contact the practice.
I have had my first vaccination, when will i receive my second dose?
The current guidance is that patients will receive a second vaccination by around 8 weeks. We would like to reassure patients that you have not been forgotten and will be contacted closer to the time when your second dose is due.
I had my first vaccination at my previous practice, what about my second dose?
Ideally patients should be having their second vaccination with the same provider who gave the first dose. If you have moved and registered with the practice you can have the second vaccination with us. You may be asked to provide your covid immunisation card or asked for your previous GP surgery details so we can call and confirm which covid vaccination you received and the date it was given. Your second dose may also depend on which vaccination has been delivered as we have no control over the dates of delivery and which vaccination we will receive.
Do i need to have both vaccinations before i can travel?
Please check the Government website for further information regarding traveling abroad. If you need to provide evidence that you have had both covid vaccinations, you need to download and sign up to the NHS app.
Can I have the vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
The JCVI have recommended that women who are pregnant or breast feeding are eligible for a covid vaccination. Please find further details on the NHS England website or you can discuss with your midwife services.