Everyone aged 50 and over, plus anyone aged 16 and above who is clinically vulnerable are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Blood Clotting
The recent news about possible safety issues associated with the AstraZenaca COVID-19 vaccine has caused considerable concern for many of our patients and the practice has received a large number of queries from patients seeking advice. The practice recommends that all patients follow the recommedations issued by the Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI). Comprehensive information about the relative risks of COVID-19 infection and vaccination Information can be found by following the link COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting.
A statement issued by the JCVI can be accessed by following the link JCVI statement on the AZ COVID-19 vaccine
Patients should be reassured that when the time comes for under 30’s to have their first vaccination an alternative to the AZ vaccine will be offered. For those aged under 30 who have already received their first AZ vaccine the current advice is that they should still have the AZ vaccination for their second dose as planned - the new advice only applies to first doses. We are still some time away from vaccinating people aged under 30 and more information may be available by the time vaccine is offered to this age group.
Unless you have an imminent appointment for your first vaccine we request that you access current information online rather than contacting the practice for advice.
We are now working to the latest government target, for everyone aged 50 and over to be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of April. The vaccine is safe and very effective, and the eventual aim is for all adults to receive two doses of the vaccine by the end of the summer.
The vaccine is now being given to:
- people aged 50 and over
- people at high risk from coronavirus(clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
All vaccination appointments were initially co-ordinated by a booking centre, specially commissioned by our Primary Care Network. The booking system has now changed and the booking centre has closed - please do not try to contact the booking centre to enquire about your second vaccination appointment, you will be contacted when this is due.
Groups 1-4 - book with GP or use NHS booking centre
Everyone aged 70 and above, and those are shielding due to extreme clinical vulnerability have been offered their first COVID-19 vaccination. If you have not yet responded please book an appointment now - contact the NHS booking line 119, book online here or telephone the Health Centre.
Groups 5 to 9 - book using NHS booking centre
Everyone aged 50 and over is now eligible to book their vaccination, but to enable practices to focus on the vaccination of patients aged 16 and above who are clinically vulnerable (and to make best use of local vaccination service capacity) patients over 50 who are not clinically vulnerable are requested to use the National Booking Service to book their COVID-19 vaccination.
In order to avoid a delay please book your vaccination now via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119. Appointments are available throughout the week across the region. The closest large vaccination centre is at Alderly Park, former home of AstraZenaca - what a fitting place to receive your AZ COVID-19 vaccination!
Group 6 - book direct with GP or use NHS booking centre
People in group 6 (those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection) are being invited by their GP to attend their local Primary Care Centre vaccination centre or they may book an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, either online www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.
The objective of the COVID-19 immunisation programme is to protect those who are at highest risk from serious illness or death. The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) have set out a prioritisation for persons at risk, ranking eligible groups according to risk, largely based on prevention of death from COVID-19-specific. At this stage we have to adhere to guidance provided by the JCVI - the practice is not able to add people to group 6 unless they fulfil the JCVI criteria. For full details follow the link to the JCVI Green Book.
If we do not have a mobile number for you we will contact you by phone or letter, but this process is inevitably slower and time consuming for staff. Texting is the preferred method of choice - please contact the Health Centre if we do not have your mobile number or if you have previously opted out of receiving text messages. Booking details are contained in the text message, and will be explained in phone calls or letters to patients.
The Primary Care Network achieved the government's target of offering vaccination to everyone in groups 1-4 of the most vulnerable people by 15th February, and are now focussing on group 6. The rate of vaccination is entirely dependant on the supply of vaccine which is somewhat erratic at present. During the next month not only do we need to give people in groups 6 their first vaccine, but also administer the second vaccination to those who received their first dose in January. The current advice is that the second vaccine dose should be the same as the first, though trials are currently underway to assess if flexibility, i.e. providing the AZ vaccine to those who had the Pfizer vaccine initially and vice versa, offers the same, or even enhanced, protection.
We will try to update you via text, phone or letter if it becomes apparent you are in an eligible group but not yet had your vaccination. Please ensure we have your up to date contact details so that we can notify you - if not, please email the practice with your details using this feedback form. We remain totally dependant on the availability of vaccine supplies, but working collaboratively with the Congleton practices has enabled us to provide a very efficient and rapid vaccination service, with the only rate limiting step being the amount of vaccine in our fridges.
Vaccine availability is not a problem for the larger vaccine centres set up by the government, and because their supplies are guaranteed they can book appointments for both the first and second vaccine doses. This makes the larger vaccination centres a very attractive route for many patients, despite the greater travel distances. The larger vaccination centres are currently vaccinating patients aged 55 and above. To arrange an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres you can book online here or call 119. You will be asked your 10 digit NHS number - this will be on your invitation letter, but you can still book an appointment if you do not know your NHS number.
For the latest information about COVID-19 including figures about case numbers and vaccination rates visit Coronavirus daily update