Covid-19 Booster & Flu Vaccinations – Information for patients
Thank-you for your patience in waiting for updates, we wanted to write to you to let you know that South Reading and Shinfield Group Medical Practice will be delivering booster vaccinations from 27/10/2021, and you will be contacted to book your vaccination.
We also wanted to ensure we have provided you with the information you need and have put together this guide, including some ‘frequently asked questions’ which we hope you find helpful. Because the National guidance changes frequently, we will update this information as the service evolves.
Can we kindly ask that where you have any additional queries about the Flu or covid booster clinics, you contact us through our website via the ask the practice a question form.
This will help reduce long queues on the telephone, which we do anticipate and ask for your understanding.
Why are we doing this?
Our objective is to offer both Flu and COVID boosters to as many eligible people as possible in the hopes that we can reduce the local levels of COVID and Flu cases. We are offering different days during the week to ensure we can continue with business as usual .
Site Information (including address)
Shinfield Health Centre
Onsite at Shinfield Health Centre, or the adjacent public parking site.
Patient groups eligible for vaccinations
We will be following NHS guidance in terms of who should be offered a Flu and COVID-19 booster and we will contact you in turn, please see below:
To be eligible for the Covid booster, you must be doubly vaccinated, with the last dose given at least 6 months prior to the booster vaccination
Patients eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination include:
- Patients aged 50 years and older (age on 21 March 2022)
- Patients aged 6 months to 49 years in clinical risk groups (those with chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, neurological disease, diabetes, morbid obesity)
- Immunocompromised/immunosuppressed patients and their household contacts
- Children aged two or three years on 31 August 2021
- Pregnant women
- Carers for those who may be at risk
- Patients with a learning disability
- Frontline health and social care workers
Where possible, to save you two trips we would like to offer you the Flu and Covid vaccines together, although because of the 6 month gap needed between the 2nd covid vaccine dose and booster, this may not be possible. We will therefore be offering additional appointments during practice hours and will let you know the dates for these. If you think you are eligible for a Flu vaccine and we have not yet contacted you please do go to the ‘ask the practice a question section’ on the website.
We will be in touch with all patients when it is their turn to be invited to a clinic based on the timeframes provided– you will be invited via text message or phone call.
For your information there may be some duplication in us and NHS England contacting you for a Covid or Flu booster. This is because NHS England is contacting all patients that are eligible in a universal way. Their letter will ask you to use the National Booking system to choose a site to book into but this does not include the GP practices (only the Mass Vaccination sites or local pharmacy), which may or may not be local to you.
You are free to choose a site that best suits your needs – you can ignore the NHS invitation letter if you opt to book at Shinfield Health Centre for a Covid booster
Once you have booked an appointment with us, please do attend it.
Instructions on arrival at the clinic:
- Please see the parking guidance as per section 2 (above)
- Please come wearing a face mask if you are able to wear one, which is in-line with the National Guidance for accessing healthcare services
- Do not come for your appointment if you have any Covid symptoms and please give us notice if you are unable to make it so we can allocate your appointment to another patient
- Following your vaccination you will be required to wait for 15 minutes for observation.
- There will be some queuing involved but we will provide chairs, please come prepared with warm clothing. We do ask that you wear clothing that is easy to take on and off so that the vaccinator can reach your arms
- Toilets will be accessible to use at the site and patient navigators will be available
Where possible we kindly ask that complete and bring the consent form (www.gov.uk – COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for adults) with you – we will email or text you this, we will also have forms available from reception for collection from Thursday 14th October 2021 onwards
We may need your NHS number to update the vaccination record, but do not worry if you do not know this.
It would also be helpful if you had a list of your medication to hand, in case the vaccinator wants to check these with you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What vaccine will it be for the Booster?
The booster currently available is the Pfizer vaccine. The research shows that it doesn’t matter which vaccine you had initially and we will not have any choice in what vaccines we can offer you. You should not have the Pfizer vaccine if you had an anaphylaxis reaction previously (which was very few people), please see below.
If the clinics are for both the Covid Booster & the Flu jab, what happens if I only want one of them?
We will be giving flu and boosters together where possible and has been approved by MHRA and NHS England/I. Patients can decide to just have 1 or the other, however if they do not want to have the Covid Booster, they may be asked to have their Flu jab at a later date, or go to local pharmacy where they do not need an appointment with us. If they decide they do not want the Flu jab, or have already had it, we will still be able to give them the Covid Booster at one of our clinics.
What about my child aged 12-15yrs?
Healthy 12-15 year olds will be offered a Booster and Flu jab at school as the school’s immunisation teams are delivering all these vaccinations.
What about Immunocompromised patients?
We are still waiting to know more from NHS England. Once the plan has been decided we will inform patients.
What if I had my Covid vaccinations abroad?
Some patients will have had 1 or 2 doses abroad. We will be offering the Booster vaccine to these patients the same as any other patients, in line with the guidance i.e. 6 months after the 2nd dose. Please do get in touch via our website if you had your vaccines abroad and are not sure if we have a record of this, or you do not receive an invitation from us for the Booster when you think you should.
What if I have Covid symptoms when I am due to have my Covid Booster?
If a patient has Covid symptoms they cannot have the vaccine until they have recovered from the symptoms to avoid confusing vaccine side effects with the illness.
What if I know I have Covid-19?
Covid positive patients need to wait at least 4 weeks from when they tested positive before having the vaccine.
What if I can’t make the clinic if I booked an appointment?
Please cancel your appointment timely, so it can be offered to other patients.
What do I do if I had side effects from my vaccine last time?
Unless you had an anaphylactic reaction (tight throat/breathing AND itchy swollen skin) then you can have the Pfizer vaccine.