Several thousands of deaths are attributable to influenza (or ‘flu’) each year. Those at greatest risk of the serious consequences of flu are those aged 65 and over and anyone of any age with certain medical conditions, including residents in long term residential care or nursing homes.
This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it is more important than ever that eligible patients receive their flu vaccination.
Flu vaccination is QUICK, SAFE, EFFECTIVE and FREE for those who are eligible.
This season (2020/2021) the flu vaccination programme has been expanded meaning that many more people will be eligible to receive the free vaccine for the first time but may not realise it.
YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A FREE FLU VACCINATION IF YOU FALL INTO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:
- Women who are pregnant (including those who become pregnant by 31st March 2021)
- Children aged 2-11 years old
- Household contacts of those on the NHS shielded patient list
- Patients 65 years and older (including those becoming 65 by 31st March 2021)
- Those aged from 6 months to less than 65 years of age in a clinical ‘at risk’ group such as those with:
- A long term (chronic) heart problem
- A long term (chronic) chest complaint including bronchitis, emphysema, COPD or severe asthma
- A kidney disease
- Lowered immunity due to a disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
- Long term (chronic) liver disease
- Previous stroke (CVA) or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- A neurological condition, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Motor neurone disease or cerebral palsy
- A learning disability
- A problem with your spleen including sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
- Residents of long stay residential or care homes
- All carers
- All frontline health and social care workers
Additionally, for the 2020/2021 season flu vaccination will be offered free to patients aged between 50-64 years from November, providing there is sufficient available vaccine AND after all those who fall into one of the above groups have been vaccinated.
TO FIND OUT MORE VISIT the NHS Flu vaccine page
Flu Vaccination clinics/appointments
- Appointments for this year’s flu vaccination will be available from October 2020. Vaccine delivery is variable so we have planned our clinics for the earliest possible date after our expected deliveries, allowing extra time for possible delays in light of the pandemic.
- There will be a mixture of Saturday morning clinics, Tuesday evening clinics (for patients who are unable to attend for vaccination during normal working hours) and appointments within the usual working week.
- As in previous years, patients will be vaccinated with the most appropriate vaccine for their age. We receive our vaccines in batches and therefore we will need to prioritise our highest risk patients first, including those on the NHS shielded list and those in long term residential or nursing homes.
- Our reception team will be contacting all eligible patients in due course to book the most appropriate appointment slot for you.
- There should therefore be no need for you to contact the surgery to book a flu The first patients to be contacted will be:
- housebound patients including those in nursing homes
- anyone on the NHS shielded patient list
- those with a chronic lung condition or immunodeficiency
- All eligible children and our housebound patients will receive a phone call to offer an appointment.
- All other eligible patients will receive a text message initially to offer an appointment or a phone call if we do not have a mobile number for you.
- Our phone lines are currently very busy, so if you are housebound and usually receive your vaccination at home, you will already be on our home visiting list. Please avoid contacting the surgery to request a home vaccination as our reception team will be in touch to advise when you may expect a visit.
- Please note that patients in the 50-64 year old age group who do not otherwise fit into one of the other eligible categories will not be vaccinated until November at the earliest, providing there is sufficient vaccine.NO appointments for these patients will be offered until then, in line with local guidance.
- Please be assured that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all reasonable measures have been taken to keep you and our staff safe when attending for flu vaccination. Vaccinating staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with the most up to date guidance at that time.
- In order to comply with social distancing advice, some of our clinics will be held this year in the Shawbirch Community Centre, situated near to the surgery. You will be advised at the time of booking whether your appointment will be at the practice or at the community centre.
- Please advise our reception team at the time of booking if you have never received a flu vaccination before as wherever possible we will try to ensure you are vaccinated within the main building.
- To avoid lengthy queues and congestion, appointment times have been carefully planned. Therefore, we kindly request that this year you arrive on time for your appointment and neither early nor late. You will not be allowed into the building before your appointment time.
- It would also be helpful if you could prepare for vaccination by wearing a short-sleeved shirt or blouse.
- To minimize the amount of people in and around the surgery and community centre, please attend alone wherever possible. If you do have someone accompanying you, please ask them to wait in the car if possible.
- PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND FOR VACCINATION IF YOU FEEL UNWELL OR IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, OR HAVE BEEN A CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WITH SUSPECTED/CONFIRMED COVID-19