Influenza Vaccination Clinics 2020

The past few months have been a difficult and challenging time for Tamar Valley Health and the NHS, we are working hard to provide both acute and routine care to our patients whilst keeping you and our staff as safe as possible.

Our primary responsibility is to ensure that all patients are able to access essential health services and feel supported at this time. It is essential that we all adhere to government guidance, social distancing and safety measures. Patients are asked to respect all of our staff members, we are working incredibly hard under increased and additional pressures, as such our phones lines and clinics may be busier than normal.

We would like to share our plan for delivery of our influenza vaccinations to our patients and the options that are available to you. This document will cover all aspects of our influenza strategy and we ask that you read this information before phoning the practice.

REMEMBER – DO NOT ATTEND YOUR FLU APPOINTMENT IF YOU ARE UNWELL OR HAVE ANY COVID SYMPTOMS

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Do not attend your influenza vaccination appointment with any of these symptoms, even if you think you do not have COVID 19

When will clinics be released?

Tamar Valley Health will release influenza clinics for patients aged 18+ to book an appointment w/c 24th August 2020, the Practice will not be holding any waiting lists, so patients should be advised to wait until after this date to book an appointment. A list of currently available clinics will be available on Facebook and on our website.

How can I book an appointment?

Patients can only book influenza vaccination appointments in the following ways;

  • Online via NHS app or systmOne online (over 65years only)
  • On the phone
  • At the practice
  • Additional sources of booking will become available shortly

Alternatively, patients that see a Health Care Assistant, Nurse, Advanced Practitioner, Pharmacist or GP at the surgery can request their influenza vaccination to be done at this appointment as long as we have vaccines in stock, and you are well enough to have it.

Requests for flu vaccination appointments via eConsult or via the Tamar Valley Health website will not actioned or replied to

Patient family groups and “bubbles” are encouraged to book influenza appointments together in the same clinic/ day (this is to reduce queuing time and risk to the patients)

At this time, we can only offer the 65yrs+ clinics to be booked online, we apologise for this inconvenience. This decision has been made by the Practice to ensure that only patients who are currently eligible for the NHS influenza vaccine can book an appointment and to safeguard and prioritise clinics for individuals that are more at risk from the flu virus.

Where will the clinics be held?

Tamar Valley Health will be running clinics at the following sites;

  • Callington Health Centre
  • Gunnislake Health Centre
  • Callington Town Hall
  • Harrowbarrow Village Hall
  • Calstock Village Hall
  • Stoke Climsland Village Hall

A list of currently available clinics will be available on Facebook and on our website once these are full, they will be removed.

What if I am housebound or shielded?

The Practice will also be conducting home visits to patients (and patient’s families/ partners) that are housebound. We hold a housebound list at the surgery, so you do not need to contact us unless you have become housebound recently.

Shielded patients will be expected to attend clinics where possible.

What happens if we go back into lockdown?

The government might change lockdown advice and rules last minute, in this instance, our clinics will still be open and available. During the last lockdown, individuals were allowed to leave the house for essential appointments or for healthcare reasons.

Children’s clinics

At Tamar Valley Health we vaccinate eligible babies and children. If your child is not entitled to an influenza vaccine at the Practice or at school, you can request a private vaccination from Pharmacies and other providers.

Gunnislake Pharmacy will have private vaccinations for children and will be available from October for both the nasal and injection vaccines.

Nasal Influenza vaccine (children only) £23.50

Injection influenza vaccine from £11.99

Children’s clinics for eligible patients will be released as soon as we have a date for delivery, this is usually September. We will release these clinic dates on Facebook and via our website. Please do not ring the surgery about these clinics until the dates have been released. We will not be holding a waiting list for babies and children.

Groups of patients that are eligible for an influenza vaccine

6months – 2 years old

We do not routinely vaccinate babies under 2 years old unless they have a clinical indication or long-term health condition. We will contact these patients directly or parents or guardians may contact the practice to book an appointment. This age cohort has the vaccination by injection, this particular vaccine will not be available to us until October.

2-4 years old

Children aged 2 or 3 on 31 August 2020 – that is, children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018 are also eligible for the influenza vaccination including children who are 4 years old provided they were aged 3 on the 31st August 2020.

Further information is available from this link:

Primary school aged children

Most children that are in primary school will be vaccinated in school and not at the surgery. If your child missed the vaccination dates or was unwell, you must call the school immunisation team number to rebook into a catch-up clinic. These clinics will not be held at Tamar Valley Health. The School Immunisation Team can be contacted on 01872 221105, 01872 221106 or 01872 221107.

The government has advised that they will be vaccinating ALL primary school children and have extended this to include year 6 students in 2020/21.

Children that have a long-term health conditions or a severe egg allergy may be offered the vaccination at the surgery.

If you would like to find out more about children’s flu vaccines please view this link:

Secondary school aged children

Unless an individual has a long-term health condition or eligible chronic illness, we will not be vaccinating this age group. If you are entitled to an NHS vaccine and are under 18 please refer to the children’s clinic information.

18 – 64 years old

If you are aged 18-64 years old and normally have an influenza vaccination due to long-term health condition or from being in an “at risk” group, you can book an appointment at one of our clinics.

We do recommend that you are vaccinated as soon as possible due to additional age groups being vaccinated this year. We are not able to order any additional influenza vaccine stocks.

50-64yrs “new” cohort

Patients who are in the new age cohort of 50-64 years old and DO NOT usually have an influenza vaccination are requested to wait until recalled by the Practice, this is likely to be in October or November. The government have said that “A significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine as people aged 50 to 64 will be invited later in the season for a vaccination”

Tamar Valley Health will not be vaccinating these patients until influenza vaccination stocks have been received from NHSE and the government. As soon as we have more information on this scheme, we will update our patients. Please do not phone the practice to enquire about vaccinations for this age group.

65 years old +

If you are 65 years old or will be 65 by the 31st March 2021 you are eligible for an influenza vaccination. You can book into the clinics from the 24th August 2020. If other members of your household are also eligible for the vaccination, we would like to make your appointments in the same clinic/ time.

You may also be eligible for other vaccinations such as pneumonia or shingles, if we have stock, we will be able to vaccinate you at the same time as having a flu jab. Please ensure you speak to a receptionist on the phone if you wish to have more than one vaccination or check if you are eligible for one as we need to allow for additional time and book you in with the correct member of the nursing team.

Pregnant Patients

All pregnant patients are eligible to receive an influenza vaccination, you can book this in as soon as you have seen the midwife for the first time.

Carers

If you care for someone or look after a family member you are eligible for an influenza vaccination, but you must be in receipt of carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.

Frontline health or social care staff

If you are eligible for an influenza vaccination due to your job, your employer should provide one for you. Tamar Valley Health does not vaccinate other NHS staff unless you work at the Practice.

We do vaccinate staff that work at local residential or nursing homes and one of our staff members will be in touch to arrange employee immunisations at the place of work.

Shielded patients and their immediate families

Patients who live with someone who’s at high risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over winter are also eligible for an influenza vaccination. You may be asked to provide proof of eligibility (such as a name of the individual who is shielded, if they are a patient of ours or a shielding letter)

Private influenza vaccinations

If you are not eligible for an NHS influenza vaccination you can request one privately with local pharmacies and some supermarkets.

Gunnislake Pharmacy will be offering the following vaccines:

  • QIVe vaccine £11.99 (6months +)
  • QIVc vaccine (egg free) £14.99 (9 years +)
  • LAIV vaccine (nasal) £23.50 (2-18 years)

Due to increased vaccine and PPE costs Gunnislake Pharmacy prices have been reassessed.

To book an appointment please contact either Callington or Gunnislake health centre

How will you protect patients at the clinics?

Patients will be expected to socially distance, wear their own mask or face covering (unless unable) and use sanitising hand rub when arriving for influenza clinics. We have given extra time and slots to ensure our staff can see patients in a safe way and to ensure the minimum number of patients are waiting at one time.

What else do you need to know?

Patients must not turn up more than 10 minutes early to an appointment; patients that arrive early are advised to wait in their car until closer to the appointment time. If patients are late, they may be asked to rebook the appointment for another time or date.

Patients that arrive in coats and jumpers are politely requested to remove these items before queuing inside the buildings. We advise T shirts or loose-fitting tops. Patients may be asked to go to the back of the queue if their arms are not easily accessible. This is to ensure we keep a steady and constantly moving queue for the Practice Nursing team.

Patients may bring a family member with them if needed, please refrain from bringing children to the adult clinics if possible.

Patients are not able to turn up at the clinics without pre-booking. Unlike previous years we will not be able to fit you in and patients will be turned away and asked to book an appointment.

Our reception desks may NOT be open on our flu clinic days, so staff will not be able to book other routine appointments for you or access any patient records at this time.

Our phone lines are not open at the weekends, so patients are not able to contact us on Saturdays. If you are not well enough to attend your appointment you can rearrange or cancel it via phone Monday- Fridays 8.30-6pm.

REMEMBER – DO NOT ATTEND YOUR FLU APPOINTMENT IF YOU ARE UNWELL OR HAVE ANY COVID SYMPTOMS

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Do not attend your influenza vaccination appointment with any of these symptoms, even if you think you do not have COVID 19

Stewards will be available at all flu clinics to help direct patients, please remember to bring a mask or face covering unless you are exempt.

Tamar Valley Health has a zero-tolerance policy regarding abusive or threatening behaviour

Tamar Valley Health would like to thank our patients for their support during challenging time