Expanded Flu Vaccination Programme 2020

This winter, the flu vaccination is more important than ever to protect those most vulnerable as we prepare for the potential risks of both Flu and COVID-19.

We have welcomed plans to extend the flu vaccination programme to those 50-64 year olds who weren’t previously eligible for a free vaccination, but we must make sure that those patients most at risk/vulnerable are able to get the vaccine first.

In line with national plans to protect the most vulnerable first, those aged 65 and over, people with certain long-term medical conditions, pregnant women, and young children will be vaccinated from September onwards.

In a phased approach, people aged 50 – 64 who are not in a clinical risk group are to be offered the vaccine later in the season – likely in November or December if and when additional vaccine stock becomes available.

There has been a reported increase in enquiries from people aged 50 to 64 to the Practice about the vaccination. If you are in this newly eligible group, please do not contact us about the vaccination or to try to book an appointment for a Flu vaccination at this time.

This will allow us to focus on our work to get the most vulnerable groups in our community vaccinated first. We will contact you as soon as we are able to offer you an appointment so please wait to hear from us to receive more information.

Flu should be taken seriously; it is more than just a bad cold. Some people may need to stay in bed for a few days but for others who are more vulnerable it can lead to more severe illness, can worsen existing illness and can lead to pneumonia or bronchitis. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.

This year, more than ever before, it is important for patients at risk to have the flu vaccination. Flu vaccination offers important protection against Flu saves lives and helps to reduce the pressure on the NHS in the busy winter months.

During our clinics we will be following strict guidance and social distancing measures to make sure that it is safe for you to come for your vaccination. When you are offered your vaccine, please take the opportunity to gain this valuable protection for yourself and your community.

For those who attend our clinics we would ask that you follow the instructions below.

Flu Clinics Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Flu Clinics be held?

Our clinics for those patients aged 18-64 in a clinically at risk group or aged 65 years and over will be held at Old Mill Surgery Poringland on:

  • Saturday 26th September 2020
  • Saturday 03rd October 2020

We have created additional clinics on a Monday and Tuesday for our most vulnerable patients and should you need to book one of these appointments please let the Reception team know.

How do I book?

Invitations are being sent to those eligible by text message or letter. We would encourage you to contact the Practice as soon as possible to book your appointment.

Shielding Patients

This year’s Flu campaign includes household members of shielding patients, if this applies to you please advise everyone in your household to contact their GP Practice to book a Flu vaccination.

I haven’t received an invitation?

If you think you are at risk and qualify for a free Flu vaccine but haven’t received an invitation, please telephone the Practice and a member of our team will check for you.

I’ve heard people aged 50-64 years, not in a clinical risk group, can have the vaccine for free this year?

The Flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. We are not taking any bookings for these groups of patients at present but more information will be available later in the year.

What measures are you putting into place?

The clinics are strictly on an appointment only basis and are being run completely differently this year to take into account patient and staff safety. There will be screening questions asked of all patients and a one-way system will be operated in and out of the building.

It is very important that you read all of the information sent to you in our letter, and follow staff instructions carefully for your appointment on the day. This will help us to run the clinics as smoothly as possible.

It is important to remember that this appointment is for your flu vaccination only and we will not be able to deal with any other enquiry or query on the day, whether they are medical or administrative.

Patient Instructions for the Attendance at Flu Clinics

  • Attend on your own unless you need help in mobilising.
  • Walk to the Practice if you are able to. The car parking at the Practice is limited and we cannot guarantee a parking space.
  • Do not arrive early or late for your appointment time: we have allocated a strict number of patients per period to ensure that people are queueing for the minimum of time and social distancing is maintained.
  • Please wear a face covering. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, please be prepared to provide evidence of this.
  • We encourage you not to touch anything in the surgery. Bring your own hand sanitiser to use should you wish to.
  • Please follow the instructions for queuing. The queue will be controlled to ensure social distancing. If you are in a wheelchair or have very limited mobility, please make yourself know to the queue marshall who will be wearing a luminous yellow jacket.
  • If it is raining on the day, please come prepared with an umbrella as the queue may well be outside for a short period of time.
  • There will be no chairs available to sit while waiting and you will not be able to sit whilst having the vaccination (for infection control). If you think you will struggle with this, please speak to the queue marshall on arrival.
  • Wear clothing which makes it easy to expose your upper arm. The vaccinations will be given in the doorways of the rooms to comply with infection control.
  • Please heed the instructions of the staff who are supervising the patient flow on the day – they are there for your safety.
  • If you cannot attend the appointment time you have been given, please call us as soon as possible so we can reallocate you. This may mean we cannot vaccinate you until later in the season.

Do not attend if you or a household member have the following:

  • If you or any members of your household have symptoms of coronavirus
  • High Temperature 37.8 degrees Celsius or above
  • A new Continuous Cough
  • A loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
  • If you have been told to isolate. Contact us the following week and we will rebook you when you are able to leave isolation.
  • If you or a member of your family have returned from abroad and you have been advised to self-isolate on your return please do not attend the surgery. Re-book your appointment after completing your isolation period.