Flu Season 2020/2021
As you will be aware, there has been considerable discussion in the press and in our practices around this year’s flu vaccination delivery programme because of the implications from COVID.
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.
The Managers and Doctors of Craneswater Group Practice have been working together on a detailed plan to ensure 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 - social distancing; infection control; PPE requirements; managing the volume of clinical waste generated by the PPE; rapid changes in instructions and guidance and for some; With sufficient detailed planning and preparation, the aim is to mitigate risks and deliver an effective and timely vaccination programme to protect our eligible and at risk patients.
Starting in late September we will invite our eligible patients to book their flu clinics. We will again do this as in previous years, by texting, and adding appointment information to our website.
We are delivering our flu vaccine programme to an expanded range of patients this year:
- aged 65 years or over (including those turning 65 years by 31 March 2021)
- All patients at risk due to a medical condition
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- Infants aged 2 and 3, not otherwise at risk. (including those turning 2 or 3 by 31/08/2020)
- Pregnant women. (including those who become pregnant during flu season)
- household contacts of those on the
- 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.
- 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. If you were on the Shielded list and someone lives with you permanently who is registered at Craneswater Group Practice they are eligible 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 from Craneswater Group Practice. It is anticipated that this may start to be offered from November.
What we 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. For more details, go to www.gov.uk and search ‘staying safe outside your home’.
Craneswater Group Practice has already started to put in place a range of measures to minimise the spread of infection. We ask that when you attend our site you:
- 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, and allow us a little extra time in between appointments so that we can change PPE and sanitise our hands
- We will be operating one way system
- Leave promptly by marked routes to reduce waiting and queuing.
- Do not attend if you are feeling unwell in any way.
- Upper arm easily accessible (not wearing lots of layers)
What can you do now?
Ensure that your practice has your most up-to-date contact information on record if anything has changed recently, so that you receive our notifications promptly.
Below is a full list of all those eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS this year (2020/2021):
- All children aged two to eleven (but not yet twelve) on 31 August 2020
- 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 neurological disease, e.g. Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease
- 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.