Flu Season 2020-21

Flu Title

Our flu vaccination programme for 2020-21 will commence mid-September 2020. Eligible patients will be contacted to book in for an appointment for their free flu jab at the surgery.

Due to COVID-19, we will be strategically inviting certain groups of people, such as particularly vulnerable people, in for reserved slots. This might mean that friends and family may be invited for their vaccine at different times, however we will try our best to accommodate where possible.

What to expect when having your flu vaccine?

Having a flu vaccine is a very simple procedure. Your appointment won't last more than a few minutes. Due to COVID-19 we have put a few extra measures in place to maintain safety of patients and staff:

Social Distancing

Please abide by the social distance markers when waiting to enter the surgery. We have restricted the number of people entering the surgery so we apologise in advance that we may ask you to wait outside until your appointment slot.

Face Coverings

All patients are asked to wear a face covering when entering the surgery. If you do not feel comfortable wearing a face covering we ask that you try to wear one which you find most comfortable and should you experience any discomfort whilst inside, speak to a member of staff before removing your face covering - Please remember our premises are used by vulnerable patients and health workers.

Hand Sanitiser

When entering the surgery you will be asked to sanitise your hands. We have hand hygiene points available.

Staff in PPE

We may look a little different to normal as staff will be in Personal Protective Equipment which may include gloves, apron, mask and face shield. This is to protect patients and staff. We know this may look scary so we try our best to remind you its still us under the mask.

Layout

The surgery will look a little different when attending your flu jab. There is no reception and you will report to one of our coordinators who will be at the surgery entrance to direct you for your flu jab. (If you are attending the surgery for a reason other than a flu jab, you will be asked to report to our temporary reception located in the surgery car park).

When it is time for your flu jab, our staff will direct you in the surgery to one of our "bays" which have been temporarily set up in the waiting room. this is to prevent as much contact as possible. You will be the only patient in this area during your appointment and will only be inside the surgery for as long as is needed.

Flu Bays

You Can Help Us

Please only call to book in for your flu jab when we have contacted you. This is because the appointments have been strategically staggered to accommodate certain groups of patients.

Only you as the patient will be allowed into the surgery (except for patients who are children or patients who require a carer). If you would feel more comfortable having a family member or friend present throughout your appointment please contact the surgery beforehand. The surgery can also offer both male and female chaperones who can be present for your appointment.

We advise that you wear a short sleeved top when attending your flu jab appointment. It would also really help us if you were able to remove any coats, jackets and bags ready for your jab.

Please note that there is no patient parking available at the surgery. This is for health and safety as the surgery car park is currently being used as a temporary reception area for patients to report to.

Who should have the flu vaccine?

Flu is an unpredictable virus that can be unpleasant, but if you're otherwise healthy it'll usually clear up on its own in about a week.

It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.

Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

These people are advised to have a flu vaccine each year.

People who should have a flu vaccine

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk.

This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You should have the flu vaccine if you: 

  • are 65 years old or over
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you're the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • 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

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to 50-64-year-olds. More information will be available later in the autumn.

However, if you are aged 50-64 in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.

Flu vaccine for children

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:

  • children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition
  • children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (that is, born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018)
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)

Children aged between 6 months and 2 years who are eligible for the flu vaccine will receive an injected flu vaccine.

Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the nasal spray flu vaccine.

65s and over and the flu vaccine

You're eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2020 to 2021) if you're aged 65 and over on 31 March 2021 (that is, you were born on or before 31 March 1956).

So if you're currently 64 but will be 65 on 31 March 2021, you do qualify.

It's important that you benefit from having the most effective vaccine.

For those aged 65 and over you'll usually be offered the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine. This vaccine contains an adjuvant that helps the immune system make a stronger response to the vaccine.

Pregnant women and the flu vaccine

If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injected flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you have reached.

That's because there's strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.

If you're pregnant, you'll benefit from the flu vaccine because:

  • it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
  • it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birthweight, because of flu
  • it'll help protect your baby, as they'll continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months after their birth

It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards.



 
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