Willerby Surgery Flu Season 2021-2022
As you will be aware, there has been considerable discussion in the press around this year’s flu vaccination delivery programme because of the implications from COVID. As yet it is unclear whether we will be asked to deliver a booster Covid vaccine alongside the influenza vaccine.
The government strongly advises that everyone who is eligible for a free vaccination takes up the offer to avoid widespread flu outbreaks while we continue to deal with the Coronavirus. It is everyone's responsibility to be vaccinated, not only to protect them from illness, but also to protect others by not spreading the flu virus in the community, which in turn protects the NHS as a whole.
Within the Willerby & Swanland Practices, we have been working together on detailed planning with an aim to ensuring that there is a smooth delivery of the vaccine to the patients most at risk of flu, and also endeavouring to ensure that we have sufficient stocks available within the locality.
We have been discussing and planning how to do this with the additional safety measures required due to the challenges of COVID-19 such as social distancing; infection control and PPE requirements.
With sufficient detailed planning and preparation, the aim is to mitigate risks and deliver an effective and timely vaccination programmes to protect our eligible and at-risk patients. Starting with batches being delivered in late September/ Early October and continuing with deliveries well into November. Therefore, all our clinics will need to follow this phasing delivery path.
During last year's season (2020/2021) we were delivering our flu vaccine programme to an expanded range of patients. It is probable that this expanded range will be repeated again in 2021/22. These included :
· All over 65’s
· All patients at risk due to a medical condition – see the following full list of eligible conditions.
· Healthcare Workers and Care Home workers as detailed below.
· Infants aged 2 and 3, not otherwise at risk.
· NEW: Patients who were ‘Shielding,’ and any persons who shares a residence with a shielding patient – this is a new cohort of patients for this year.
· NEW: A 50-64’s programme is also planned and this group of patients are to be vaccinated in addition this year. This will not start however until all the higher risk groups above have been given the opportunity to be vaccinated to ensure that supplies are targeted to those most in need. Patients over 50 and not usually in an at-risk group must await further instructions.
Until we are sure of what coronavirus restrictions might be in place we would ask of our patients:
When travelling to and from your appointment, please follow guidelines which include travelling on foot if possible and keeping a safe distance from others.
Additionally you may need to follow these guidelines:
· Observe Social distancing measures
· Wear a mask or suitable face covering. Our clinicians will be dressed in appropriate PPE as well.
· Arrive on time for your appointment, but not early to allow us time in between appointments so that we can follow infection control procedures.
· Leave promptly by directed routes to reduce waiting and queuing.
· Do not attend if you are feeling unwell in any way.
ALSO please ensure you wear clothes which allow easy access to your chosen arm for injection and take your coat off on entry to the practice in anticipation
Below is a full list of all those eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS last year (2020/2021):
· aged 65 years or over (including those turning 65 years by 31 March 2021)
· aged from six months to under 65 years of age, in a clinical risk group with:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease, e.g. Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease
- a learning disability
-splenic dysfunction or asplenia
- a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
- morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
- all pregnant women (including those who become pregnant during flu season)
- household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable.
- people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence, or boarding schools (except where children are of primary school age or secondary school Year 7).
- those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
- health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
- health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT - WHEN WE ASK YOU TO BOOK LATER THIS YEAR THAT YOU CONTACT THE SURGERY BY PHONE TO MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT
Patients who wait for us to contact them will. in due course, be invited - but the volume of work involved in calling patients may mean a delayed vaccination - it will be enormously helpful to you and to us if you get in touch with us as soon as we notify that we have clinics available