Key messages to patients
- We are in the process of contacting all eligible patients to invite them to book their flu vaccination.
- We are utilising the text service which includes a booking link for the patient to access and book their appointment. Where we are unable to text a patient, we will be sending letters as per previous years.
- Our flu clinics and appointments will be dependent on the vaccine being delivered as anticipated. We will of course keep patients informed if any changes impact on their appointments.
Q: Can I have the flu vaccine if I have just had my covid vaccine / booster or vice versa?
A: Yes. Where individuals in an eligible cohort present having recently received one or more inactivated or live vaccines, COVID-19 vaccination should still be given. The same applies for most other live and inactivated vaccines where COVID-19 vaccination has been received first or where an individual presents requiring two or more vaccines. It is generally better for vaccination to proceed and may be provided under this protocol, to avoid any further delay in protection and to avoid the risk of the individual not returning for a later appointment. The only exceptions to this are the shingles vaccines, where a seven-day interval should ideally be observed. This is based on the potential for an inflammatory response to COVID-19 vaccine to interfere with the response to the live virus in the older population and because of the potential difficulty of attributing systemic side effects to the newer adjuvanted shingles vaccine.
The flu virus typically peaks during the winter months and the best way to help protect yourself and others from catching and spreading flu is to have the flu jab every year.
Flu strains can change from year to year, which means last year’s jab may not protect you from this year’s strains. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year’s flu season.
To ensure the vaccine is targeted and effective against the current flu strains circulating, the vaccines usually go into production only months before the vaccination season.
The vaccine suppliers have warned us that there could be potential delays to the vaccine delivery . We expect to receive a phased delivery of all available vaccines to our Practice.
Cancelled or late delivery of the vaccines may result in patient vaccine appointments being changed at short notice. If this is necessary we will re-schedule all impacted appointments. We appreciate your understanding on this issue.
At Latham House Medical Practice we will be working to enable vaccination clinics across both of our sites and at weekends or in extended hours to be able to meet local demand safely and efficiently.
Who can have the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers
It is very important that you inform us of your current situation regarding eligibility for the vaccine. Please get in touch with us online at [email protected] to let us know your current status regarding employment in the care sector, carer status or living with vulnerable patients. This will help us to update your records, ensuring you are eligible for the vaccination.
How can I book my Flu vaccination?
We are now contacting all eligible patients via SMS text and sharing the booking link to enable patients to book their flu vaccinations at one of our Clinics.
Where we are unable to send this SMS text, we will be contacting patients by letter or phone.
Book an appointment online via Engage Consult – If you are contacting us via Engage Consult for the first time you will need to follow the ‘sign up’ instructions on the site. (see below for instructions)
Where possible and appropriate, we will also be offering the flu vaccination as part of existing health monitoring appointments.
Child Flu Vaccine
• We are running child flu clinics every Thursday and on Saturday 2nd October. Clinics continue to be added.
• The child flu vaccine is for any child aged 2/3 years on 31st Aug and at risk children under the age of 18yrs who were unable to have their vaccination in the school environment.
• This vaccine will also be offered to eligible patients in this group as part of their regular appointments
Over 65’s vaccine
• We will be running flu clinics for over 65’s patients on Saturday 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th October – availability permitting.
• Patients will receive a text with a booking link inviting them to book their appointment. Where we are unable to text the patient, a letter will be sent, asking them to get in touch and book a slot at this clinic.
• Patients can also request a flu vaccination appointment online at Engage Consult or by emailing [email protected].
Under 65’s Flu vaccine
• We hope to run a flu clinic for under 65’s patients on Saturday 23rd October – availability permitting.
• We are working on offering other clinic dates for this cohort of patients throughout November.
What will be different about flu vaccine clinics during the pandemic?
Flu clinics will be different this year, but they will be safe.
We will be spacing out appointments and operating a one way system in order to maintain social distancing and enable strict cleaning practices.
There will be plenty of staff available on the day to assist you, so please don’t hesitate to ask if you need help in any way.
Important information when attending you flu vaccination
• We will be asking patients to come prepared and only attend at the time given.
• Please don’t attend if you feel unwell or you have a temperature, new persistent cough, flu like symptoms or new loss of sense of smell or taste. You should book a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms (via the NHS website or by calling 119).
When attending our flu vaccination clinics – How you can help
• Wear a face covering
• Remove coats and handbags before you enter the Practice
• Wear loose clothing to allow quick and easy access to your arm
• Arrive at the time you have been asked to only
• Don’t attend if unwell
• Attend alone if possible
• Don’t drive if you can avoid it
• If you are driving, please park offsite – allowing the elderly and immobile to use our surgery car park spaces
Some of the main symptoms of the flu include:
- sudden fever – a temperature of 38°C or above
- aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- dry, chesty cough
- sore throat
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- nausea and being sick
If you think you have the flu, it’s best to care for yourself at home to prevent the further spread of germs. Get plenty of rest, keep warm, drink plenty of water, and take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have a high temperature or any aches and pains. If you need advice, you can call NHS 111 for free at any time, day or night.
To reduce the risk of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.
- NHS Flu Vaccine
- NHS flu web pages
- NHS flu leaflet (pdf)
- You can find information on your local pharmacies along with opening hours at www.nhs.uk
Reality check: How effective is the flu jab?
Flu can make you feel pretty rubbish, but for some it can be deadly. There is a vaccine against it, but how effective is it at protecting us against the virus? Watch the BBC How effective is the flu jab? Reality Check video to find out.
Process for Engage Consult vaccination requests:
- Click Request help from the surgery
- Click Admin query and anyone can help you with this request
- Click Something else when prompted to describe what your query is regarding.
- From here please type in your request eg Please can I book a Flu appointment for myself, specify preferred time range if you would like to.
- Before you submit your query please make sure the secure online message is ticked so that we can reply to you.
- That’s it! We will then reply to you via the secure online messages in your Engage Consult account to confirm your appointment booking.
Call our main number on 01664 503000
If an appointment is not available to you you will be added to our flu vaccination waiting list.