COVID-19 VACCINATION INFORMATION
Whilst a vaccination programme of this scale will take some time, we can assure you that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. We ask that you please do not contact the practice directly to enquire about your Covid vaccination.
We are unable to enter into a dialogue with individuals and cannot consider anyone as a special case. Our team is working tirelessly and we have the necessary measures in place for those most at risk to get their vaccine first. To do this, we are following a nationally set prioritisation order, from which we are unable to deviate. The priority list from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation can be found at bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk.
Please do not turn-up opportunistically at a vaccination clinic, hoping for vaccination.
AZ Vaccine manufactured in India
Following on from the additional queries raised around the AZ vaccine that has been manufactured in India, we have been in touch with DHSC (who are leading on this piece of work) again. They have now provided us with the following additional lines regarding this issue:
- All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria.
- The European Medicines Agency, as well as our own medicines regulator, has authorised this vaccine and travel should not be affected.
- No Covishield vaccines have been administered in the UK.
- All doses used in the UK have been subject to rigorous safety and quality checks, including individual batch testing and physical site inspections, by the UK medicine’s regulator, the MHRA.
- Ensuring safe and open travel with our global partners is a clear priority and we are engaging with international partners on certification to ensure travel for vaccinated people is unhindered in the future.
- We have spoken to the EU Commission who have confirmed that neither the Commission nor the EMA has advised Member States against accepting travellers vaccinated with ‘SII doses’.
- Our High Commission in Malta has been discussing this issue with the Maltese Government, who have agreed that they will accept the NHS certificate with the EMA approved AZ Vaxzevria dose.
- Astra Zeneca vaccine will be recognised in the same way as any other.
On the stories specifically about Malta last week:
- The Maltese authorities have agreed to amend their travel advice so this should not happen again.
- The government of Malta has advised they will recognise an NHS Covid Pass as valid evidence for entry. They set this out themselves here: https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/en/Pages/Travel-Advice.aspx
- Anyone who has had their second dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine two weeks or more ago can get an NHS Covid Pass, as set out here: https://foreignandeu.gov.mt/en/Pages/Travel-Advice.aspx
- The Malta Deputy PM / Health Minister’s page also links directly to our own travel advice and the Malta International Airport page has been updated to reflect the change: https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/covid-19/Pages/travel.aspx and https://www.maltairport.com/covid19/arrival/
2nd dose intervals
We are following the national current guidance on dosing intervals for second doses which states that second doses must be given at least 8 weeks apart. We are aware that there are mixed messages in the mainstream media about this which is causing some confusion for individuals, however having your second doses at least eight weeks after the first will give you the best protection from the delta variant.
The manufacturer recommended dose intervals were based on data at the time of the clinical trials; Public Health England and JCVI now have real world data from the billions of vaccinations given worldwide that show a longer dosing interval between first and second doses offers individuals even more protection. This is especially important in the context of rising case rates and the delta variant. Therefore we won't be giving you your second dose any earlier than 8 weeks unless there is a clinical reason to do so.
It is still really important for you to have a second dose so that you can get the best possible protection, so please come back at 8 weeks. You can book an appointment in advance through the National Booking System, or come to a walk-in session after 8 weeks if that is best for you.
Many patients are enquiring about how to get their Vaccine Passport. In order to do so, patients will need to download the NHS app. Information about this and how to access it can be found on our Online Access page.
PLEASE NOTE: Any vaccine doses administered outside of England will not appear on the NHS App under the 'Covid Passport' section. NHS England are aware of this issue and are looking to resolve this issue.
All patients in our area have now received invitations for their first vaccination either from the National Booking System or from ourselves. We are no longer providing 1st dose clinics, so if you still wish to be vaccinated please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR VACCINATION
If you are thinking about or due to have your COVID vaccination we thought you might like some more information about the vaccination and what to expect so here are a few useful links to You Tube videos’
- What to expect when coming to get your vaccine: https://youtu.be/sIRWQ-l6gmw
- Getting your vaccine so we can go back to normal: https://youtu.be/UCTVLpd-r_o
- Feeling nervous about getting your vaccine: https://youtu.be/4VuoLUru3WM
- Concerns about fertility and the vaccine: https://youtu.be/oF_9un0ugAw
- Safety of the vaccine and the programme: https://youtu.be/H15nxwV3Hmw
- Concerns related to the speed of the vaccine development: https://youtu.be/A9N94N7DdnA
CHANGES TO PRACTICE WORKING
In order to support General Practice in delivering this programme, NHS England and the CCG have issued clear guidance on creating capacity by focussing only on urgent work and certain key areas. It also means we may have to de-prioritise non urgent work and cancel non-urgent appointments at short notice. We would like to reassure you that as always, we will continue to offer urgent care throughout this time. We are going to suspend our e consultation option for this week.
Additionally, you will be used to receiving invites for health reviews. However certain reviews (Asthma, Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, TIA/Strokes and Heart failure) will be temporarily stopped for the next 4 months. Please do not be alarmed if you do not receive your expected invite for review - we will instead be focussing on delivering COVID vaccinations. Once this delivery has been completed, we aim to catch up on reviews and monitoring bloods that have been deferred or cancelled.
As you can appreciate, the landscape is changing very quickly and our priority remains the care of our patients whilst delivering this programme. Thank you for your patience and support.
COVID-19 Immunisation FAQ's
Healthier Together (our local NHS Integrated Care System made up of all Bristol, South Glos and NS GPs) has produced an excellent FAQ resource providing up to date information about the local vaccination program. Please click on the link below for further information.
Published: Jul 7, 2021
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