Mass COVID-19 Vaccination sites: What you need to know.
Today seven large scale vaccination sites around England have opened, including the Centre for Life in Newcastle.
The sites are there to get large numbers of people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The locations have been picked to give a good geographical spread across the country.
The vaccination programme at these sites will run alongside the local programmes. They will use the same priority groups – based on age and health conditions. The aim is to quickly vaccinate large numbers of people most at risk of catching COVID-19.
Over 70’s Covid Vaccination Appointments
If you are over 70 years old and have not had your first Covid vaccination appointment please use the website https://www.nhs.uk/ to book your appointment or ring 119. Please avoid contacting the surgery as our staff are very busy dealing with very sick patients and the telephone lines need to be left open. The Community Team are already delivering housebound vaccinations and you will be contacted prior to being visited by the team.
Who is being vaccinated next?
The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those patients who experts have agreed will benefit from having it the most. From Monday 15th February, people in Cohort 5 and 6 are being invited to have their vaccine.
- Cohort 5 – All those 65 years and over.
- Cohort 6 – All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at risk of serious disease and mortality.
Local GP vaccination services are focusing initially on the clinically vulnerable from Cohort 6 because of the relationship between General Practice and those with long term conditions.
People in Cohort 5 may receive a letter from the National Booking Service inviting them to book at a Large Vaccination Centre. In the North East this is Newcastle’s Centre for Life and the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland, another site will be opening soon in Durham. People should not be worried about travelling to a large vaccination centre however, if you would prefer to have your vaccine closer to home please wait until you receive your invitiation from your own GP. If you do want to have your vaccine from your local GP vaccination centre please do not respond to the national booking service invitation.
The NHS will be in contact with you when the time is right for you to be invited for your vaccine. Please do not contact the NHS or GP practice, please wait for the NHS to contact you. Thank you.
Letters have been sent to people aged over 80 who live within a 45-minute drive of one of the mass sites.
Risk of serious illness increases with age, so protecting older people first will save thousands of lives.
To avoid duplication, letters were only sent to those who have not been vaccinated. However, if there is overlap and you have been vaccinated while your letter was being delivered, you don’t need to book another appointment.
Here’s what to do if……
You HAVE received a letter and:
- You haven’t yet been vaccinated or have an appointment booked – follow the instructions in the letter and book your appointment at www.NHS.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.
- You haven’t been vaccinated but transport to the mass site would be a problem – you can choose to wait until the local programme contacts you.
- You have already been vaccinated (first or second dose) – ignore the letter.
- You have already booked your vaccination through the local GP-led programme – ignore the letter.
You HAVE NOT received a letter and:
- You have already had the first or second dose of the vaccine – you can ignore the letter
- You haven’t been contacted by anyone about the COVID-19 vaccine – please wait. The local and mass vaccination programmes are working through the same priority groups. You will be contacted when you can get vaccinated. Please wait and do not contact your GP or the NHS about the vaccine unless you’re specifically asked to.
Please do not telephone the surgery with queries about the COVID vaccine. You will be contacted when you are due to receive it.
Any questions regarding allergies will be dealt with by the Health Care Professional at the time of vaccination,
SUPPORTING YOUR RECOVERY AFTER COVID-19
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.
Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.
Visit: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ for more information.
COVID 19 RESEARCH
Newcastle NHS is running COVID19 vaccine research & looking for volunteers. To find out more sign up to our local Research+Me registry. Sign up is quick, safe and secure.
THE WHICKHAM PRACTICE
We request that all patients attending the surgery for any reason wear a face covering. This is because some people carry the Covid virus and do not have symptoms. We need to protect you, our staff and other patients. We are not able to provide you with a surgical mask as we require all our supplies for use by clinical staff. We may need to defer your appointment if you attend the surgery without a face covering.
GP’s are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel they should be exempt from wearing a face covering. Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found on the link below.
Thank you for your co operation.
Please do NOT telephone the surgery to ask whether you or family have to self isolate . Follow the Government guidelines. You are blocking our telephone and preventing ill patients from contacting us.
Do NOT come to the surgery unless you have been invited to by a doctor . From Tuesday 24th March you will not be able to walk into the surgery.
Do not telephone for a fit note for coronavirus related illness. We are following Governmental guidelines and not issuing them. For now you do not need fit note for this or any other illness until you have been off work for 14 days.
We will not tolerate verbal abuse or rudeness to our staff. Your call is being recorded.
With the current coronavirus situation, please do not come to the surgery unless a GP has advised.
We have had to alter our appointment system because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
GPs are speaking to patients first to avoid spread of the virus. If patients need to be seen they will be invited to the surgery at an allotted protected time. We are sorry that at the moment the telephone lines are very busy but anticipate that this will improve over the next few days.
If you were planning to discuss an urgent medical problem, were worried that you may have cancer, or wanted to discuss a serious mental health problem then please contact the surgery to book an appointment. For all other non-urgent matters we ask that you bear with us and please either defer your appointment or consider using the online consultation facility if you feel you have a non-urgent problem that cannot wait.
Please remember if you are unwell with a significant illness, such as finding a breast lump or developing chest pain you should still ask for help. Please don’t ignore important symptoms and telephone the surgery.
We are continuing to provide vital services such as childhood immunisations, certain injections and important blood tests. These will be done at a certain protected time, when there are no unwell patients in the surgery. Please bear with us if the time is not exactly convenient for you. This is for your safety.
Guidelines suggest that we do not accept paper prescription requests. We are sorry for any inconvenience but this is to prevent spread of the virus which can live on paper surfaces. Please order online or via the prescription line. We are trying to provide more staff for this service.
Please keep up to date with the Government Guidelines https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
We understand how worried people are and do not want to cause more stress or anxiety but these measures are taken to protect our community and our staff and stop any unnecessary spread of infection while still being able to support people who need our care.
GENERAL ADVICE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS
HOW TO RECEIVE HEALTHCARE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK.
Guidance for patients on receiving and storing images to ensure the safe and secure storage and transfer of all images. Please click on link below.