FLU VACCINATIONS 2020
You may have heard the news about this year’s flu vaccine campaign.
Cards on the table... this year will be a TOUGH year for practices delivering flu vaccines.
We are still geared up for another Covid-19 rise.
We will be doing vaccinations in PPE meaning changes between patients and cleaning of the environment between patients.
All that PPE has to be ordered, stored, shared out, restocked, disposed of.
We need to maintain social distancing between patients, so no more crowded waiting rooms with a lovely catch up from others in your community.
Social distancing means we have to make innovative use of our buildings, with one way in, one way out. Where that’s not possible, practices may look to hold clinics in community centers, town halls, supermarket car parks but that brings its own challenges
A change of venue would mean notifying CQC, arranging cold chain (to keep the vaccines cold), sorting out insurance and LOTS of planning.
The additional group of people means lots more vaccines needed: practices order the vaccine a year ahead, so we now need to rely on NHSE / Public Health England to supply additional stock. For our practice this additional group means we will need to vaccinate 9000 patients.
Everything takes longer: PPE, cleaning, social distancing. So a clinic for 1000 people which used to be done in 3 hours could now take 8 hours.
The staff that deliver the vaccines and the administrators who support them in the clinics are already working flat out during the week, and now face the prospect of working additional long shifts at the weekends.
It is very unlikely practices will be able to run open clinics this year where patients can just turn up, so practices need to set up some kind of appointment system.
Patient Participation Group members who may have helped in previous years now probably can’t due to the increased risks to them.
The number of housebound patients has increased with some patients still needing to shield, and home visits for them take much longer and are much more risky for the staff.
Many practices are running on reduced work force as they have shielding staff, or staff who cannot see patients face to face due to their own risks.
Thank you for reading this far. You may ask what is the point of this post. The main point is we found out this information the same time as you did, and although we have lots of ideas, there is still lots we need to work out, so please do not contact the practice and don’t ask to book in yet!
We WILL let you know by text, Facebook, website or letter what the plan is.
It WILL be very different this year.
We WILL do our best as we always do.
We are grateful for your support- please do share as every practice is in the same position.