All posts by emma.flores-marrero@nhs.net

December 2021 COVID VACCINE BOOSTERS

Please wait to receive an invite to book your vaccine via SMS. Once you are eligible this invite will come through if the mobile number we have on record is current. Alternatively, you can access the National Booking System online or via 119 where you will be able to book once you are eligible. In the meantime all of our clinics in Westminster https://www.westminster.gov.uk/walk-vaccination-service-now-available-westminster are available to walk-ins, however, please check your eligibility before attending or they will not be able to guarantee you will be vaccinated and they do recommend that you book where possible to ensure that your vaccine can go ahead.

 

COVID BOOSTER UPDATE

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE PRACTICE REGARDING COVID BOOSTERS

 

Covid 19 Boosters

The government has announced the roll out of Covid vaccine boosters for the over 50’s, health and social care workers and younger people at risk.  These people will be offered a booster vaccine a minimum of 6 months after completion of their second dose.

Flu and Covid 19

It is safe for you to receive a flu vaccine at the same time as your Covid booster but we have been told that you should not wait to receive both.  If you are offered either please accept the offer.

Invitation Process

Patients will be invited by a central Covid vaccination team and not via your GP practice.  This will either be via a text with a link you should follow or via a telephone call.  Please do not call your GP practice.

Housebound patients

The Covid vaccination team are working on a process and workforce for vaccinating our housebound patients.

 Vaccinations for Children

The majority of healthy children and young people aged 12-15 will be vaccinated in schools.

Please visit this website for further details: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-booster-dose-resources/covid-19-vaccination-a-guide-to-booster-vaccination

Aug 2021 Blood tests – routine blood tests postponed

A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.

Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems, will still get one but where your clinician feels that it is appropriate to do so, then you may be asked to come back for a test at a later date, or your appointment may be rescheduled.

Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when the test will be rescheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be re-booking your test when supplies become more easily available.

If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.

This is a link to the NHS England guidance:-

 http://chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.england.nhs.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F08%2FB0933-bd-blood-collection-supply-disruption-v2.pdf&clen=112104&chunk=true

Covid vaccination – benefits outweigh risks

COVID-19 vaccination 

 

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), European Medicines Ageny (EMA) and the World Health Organization have all reiterated that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots amongst those groups currently eligible to receive their first vaccination, as well as all of those due their 2nd dose.

Offering further reassurance, the EMA said that these extremely isolated cases “should be listed as very rare side effects”. 

In those aged 18-29, an alternative vaccine will be offered when the time is right for vaccinating this group, and GPs will ensure the appropriate vaccine is offered, and any questions are answered.  The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated that this change in course has been made – not because there is a high risk to the under 30s from this vaccine, but due to them having taken an approach of the utmost caution – which should provide great reassurance, and is quite normal in the rollout of a global vaccination program.

More information can be found here:

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

 COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with more than 30 million people vaccinated and more than 6,000 lives already saved.

What is the concern?

Recently there have been reports of a very rare condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after vaccination. This is being carefully reviewed but the risk factors for this condition are not yet clear.

Although this condition remains extremely rare there appears to be a higher risk in people who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given.

This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination.

Benefits and risks of the vaccination

Age Risk from COVID-19 Benefit of vaccination Risk of vaccination
Over 50 years of age or having underlying medical conditions Low – catching infection, passing on infection 1 dose – more than 80% reduction: deaths, hospitalisation, intensive care Uncommon – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 95% reduction: deaths Extremely rare – clotting problems
Very high – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death
30 to 49 years of age Low – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death 1 dose – between 60% and 70% reduction: catching infection, passing on infection Common – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 85% reduction: catching and passing on infection Extremely rare – clotting problems
High – catching mild infection, passing on infection
18 to 29 years of age Very low – hospitalisation, intensive care admission, death 1 dose – between 60% and 70% reduction: catching infection, passing on infection Very common – sore arm, feeling tired, headache, general aches, flu like symptoms
Moderate – Long COVID 2 doses – more than 85% reduction: catching and passing on infection Extremely rare – clotting problems
Very high – catching mild infection, passing on infection

This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection. An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines but is being carefully monitored.

What to look out for after vaccination

Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
    • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
    • difficulty with your speech
    • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

What you should do next

Over 50 years of age or with underlying medical conditions

All older adults (including health and social care workers over 50 years of age), care home residents, health and social care workers (includes unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed) and adults with certain medical conditions were prioritised in the first phase of the programme because they were at high risk of the complications of COVID-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that you should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

If your first dose was with AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should have the second dose on time as you may still be at high risk of the complications of COVID-19. Having the second dose will give you higher and longer lasting protection.

If you are a healthy person over 30 to 50 years of age

The MHRA and the JCVI advises that all adults in this age group (including health and social care workers) should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

If you are a healthy younger person aged 18 to 39

The MHRA and the JCVI advises that all adults in this age group (including health and social care workers) should still receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The benefits of vaccination in protecting you against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition. You should also complete your course with the same vaccine you had for the first dose.

Currently JCVI has advised that it is preferable for people under 30 to have a vaccine other than AZ. If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected. You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

About the second dose

If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course. This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed. It is expected that the first dose of the vaccine will have given you some protection, particularly against severe disease.

Further information can be found at NHS.UK.

 

 

COVID-19 contingency sharing

Primary care staff across each borough will be able to access your full medical record without consent during the COVID-19 pandemic but will only do so when this is necessary to provide you with care. They will be required to use a smartcard which confirms their identity, and which limits their access and actions to those appropriate for their role. They will all have been trained to understand their professional and legal responsibilities in providing you with care.

Coronavirus News- COVID-19

IN VIEW OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS PANDEMIC, THIS SERVICE WILL BE ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY TELEPHONE FROM 17th MARCH 2020.

IF YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR/NURSE/OTHER CLINICIAN PLEASE CALL THE SURGERY ON 02074931647 AND A DOCTOR/NURSE WILL CALL YOU BACK TO CONDUCT A TELEPHONE CONSULTATION.

IF NEED BE YOU WILL THEN BE INVITED TO ATTEND THE SURGERY AT A SPECIFIC TIME TO AVOID LONG WAITS IN THE RECEPTION AREA.

IF YOU NEED YOUR REPEAT PRESCRIPTION TO BE ISSUED PLEASE CALL THE SURGERY TO REQUEST IT.

THIS POLICY IS TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE INFECTION AND KEEP PATIENTS AND STAFF SAFE. YOUR COOPERATION IS VITAL TO ACHIEVE THIS.