Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccination

Wait to be contacted

You will be contacted by telephone by the Covid 19 Booking team to arrange a suitable time for you to attend a clinic for your vaccination. They will NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine and they will NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

A message from Dr Kimber

The Covid Vaccination Campaign

Everyone wants to know when they are going to get their vaccine, and we are being asked frequently, ‘Why is there a ‘delay’ and why has my neighbour had it, but I haven’t’.

The logistics of getting the vaccine into people’s arms are incredibly complex.

There are two vaccines, Pfizer, and Astrazeneca.

Pfizer has to be stored at -70 degrees, and once defrosted, used within 5 days, stored between 2 degrees and 8 degrees.

Astrazeneca can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees for 6 months.

Park Surgery is working with Westcourt Medical centre in Rustington, and Willow Green Surgery in East Preston, all practices providing the necessary staff. We have also had some help from the army this week because of staff shortages caused by the virus itself. Between us, we have about 36,000 patients to vaccinate (twice) this year.

We can only administer the Pfizer vaccine from our approved site, Westcourt, because of the transport and storage problems.

Astrazeneca can be delivered from all of our sites.

 Everyone knows what it is like when you order a package to be delivered, and you really don’t know for sure when it is going to arrive, so you have to wait in.

 Imagine what it is like coupling that problem with the almost immediate necessity to book in about 1000 patients, making the telephone calls, and then physically booking people into our practice systems, as well as booking them onto a national IT system, and making sure that the clinical staff are freed up to do the vaccinating.

And it isn’t just clinical staff. Admin teams have to log people when they arrive, car park marshals are needed, somebody has to observe patients in the waiting room after the Pfizer jab.

 All of this has to be organised at the drop of a hat because WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER DELIVERY.  We do not order the vaccine, we wait to be told when it will arrive, and we get very little notice when we will receive vaccine, and exactly what we will get. Furthermore, the system is plagued by failed deliveries (we had one box of 400 AZ vaccine that did not arrive last week as promised)

 Of course, while this is going on, we have to try to continue to deliver a safe ‘normal’ service.

As many people know, we had to close our premises in mid-January because of an outbreak amongst staff, and we still have a significant number of staff off sick or self-isolating. One of our team is on ITU at Worthing hospital.

 At the outset of this campaign, we were promised that Sussex Community Foundation Trust (who provide community nurses etc) would be able to vaccinate all of our care home residents and staff, as well as housebound patients. However, they have failed to mobilise their staff to deliver a single vaccine in our area, so we have decided to take this on ourselves, and have already vaccinated all of our care homes, and will soon be doing the housebound. Clearly, this has increased our workload and by necessity is causing delays to the rest of the program.

Perhaps it is now easy to see why, as much as this subject is important to each individual, we cannot deal with individual requests to sort out vaccine dates.

In the first 10 days of vaccinating, we have done more than 3000 jabs. This is just the first jab, and of course, we will need to give the 2nd dose to these people within 12 weeks.

We ask that more than ever, you make sure that you are able to answer whatever preferred telephone number you have given us when you are offered an appointment.

You can look at the government’s website to work out which cohort you are in

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-december-2020

You can contact your MP if you are dissatisfied with the current system, because they are far more likely to be able to influence how the campaign is running than we are. We are simply trying to make the best of a system over which we have no control.

We ask that you are patient, please be kind to our staff, and that social media chatter (which our hard-working staff see) is kept civil, informed, and sensible. We have seen some very unpleasant comments made about people who are working very hard indeed, in a system that we did not design, but are doing our best to manage.

As the vaccine hubs rolls out vaccines, a key reminder of 3 things:

1.The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact your GP beforehand.

  1. Please act on your invite when it comes, and do not arrive more than 5 minutes prior to your allocated time.
  2. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.

Stay safe.

Who can get the Covid-19 Vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

At this time, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals to:

  • some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
  • people who work in care homes
  • health care workers at high risk

The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK

Advice if you’re of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding

You should wait to have the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • if you’re pregnant – you should wait until you’ve had your baby
  • if you’re breastfeeding – you should wait until you’ve stopped breastfeeding

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you should wait for 2 months after having the 2nd dose before getting pregnant.

There’s no evidence it’s unsafe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But more evidence is needed before you can be offered the vaccine.

Read the latest COVID-19 vaccine advice if you’re pregnant, may get pregnant or are breastfeeding on GOV.UK

How the Covid-19 vaccine is given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It’s given as 2 doses, at least 21 days apart.

How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine approved for use in the UK was developed by Pfizer/BioNTech.

It has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

So far, thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and no serious side effects or complications have been reported.

Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 by MHRA on GOV.UK

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus.

It takes a few weeks after getting the 2nd dose for it to work.

There is a small chance you might still get coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

This means it is important to:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people

Information:

Read more about why vaccines are safe and important, including how they work and what they contain.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

If you have a high temperature you may have coronavirus or another infection.

If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.

Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.Information:

You can report any suspected side effect using the Yellow Card safety scheme.

Visit Yellow Card for further information

COVID-19 vaccine ingredients

The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any animal products or egg.

More information

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

For further details, please go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

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