COVID FAQS PERTINENT TO POPLAR GROVE PRACTICE PATIENTS
Hello everyone, as a practice we have decided to gather a list of FAQs about the covid-19 vaccine and the answers to these questions will be stored in this one post. We can’t promise to answer any queries quickly, as we are working with reduced staff, but hope that this information will answer a lot of questions which patients have been ringing in about.
The post will also be updated when more information becomes available to us.
📍 When will patients start being vaccinated?
Our COVID-19 vaccination programme will begin from w/c 18TH JANUARY 2021 (subject to us receiving the vaccine).
📍 When are you expecting to receive your first vaccinations?
The first batch of 975 vaccines should have be delivered between 13th-15th January 2021 but this has been delayed until the 15th, which has resulted in us cancelling those NHS staff and care home staff that were booked and re-arranging them for the weekend. This will allow us to test all of the systems at the vaccination centre and iron out any problems ahead of vaccinating the wider community.
We are expecting a further delivery at some point during the week commencing 18th January. Once we have a confirmed date we can then start booking patients in for their vaccinations. We will have to do this quite close to the vaccination date to minimise the risk of having to reschedule hundreds of appointments should the vaccine delivery be delayed. Please be aware that you may only get 24-48 hours’ notice. We will begin ringing round our over 90 year olds at the start of this week to see if they want to receive the vaccine and let them know they will get another call, once we have a date.
📍 Where will the vaccination centre be based?
The vaccination will be administered at the indoor bowls arena in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP. There will be a team of Marshalls to help direct you when you arrive. To help ensure we don’t cause traffic congestion, please enter via Harvey Road and exit via Stadium Approach
📍 How are the vaccinations being organised?
9 practices in Aylesbury Vale are forming a team to vaccinate patients. This will be rolled out in line with the government priority group system, as previously published on our Facebook page.
📍 How will my appointment be booked?
You will be contacted as soon as your priority group is ready to get vaccinated. Most patients will receive a SMS text that will have a direct link to book your first appointment, but please don’t worry if you do not have a mobile - we will telephone you. Some of these calls may happen over a weekend.
📍 Should I call the surgery to book my appointment?
Please wait to be contacted to leave the phones free for urgent calls. Everyone is on our list and we have double-checked it! We will let you know as soon as it is your turn to be vaccinated. Phoning the Practice to try and book or ask questions could prevent a poorly patient needing medical advice getting through.
📍 How do I get to the vaccination centre?
If you do not have your own transport, we hope that you will be able to access transport as you normally would do for medical appointments through friends, family, public transport, or the local community transport systems that are up and running.
We are awaiting further information from a local coach company called Masons, who may be able to offer your transport to and from the vaccination centre. More information about this will be posted next week.
📍 How do I travel safely in the car with someone who is not in my household to receive a vaccine?
Under current restrictions travel for medical appointments is permitted and everyone invited is encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination. There will be plenty of car parking spaces for your driver to wait for you whilst you receive the vaccine.
Where it is essential to car share, you can reduce the risk of transmission by:
- sharing the transport with the same people each time · minimising the group size at any one time · opening windows for ventilation · travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow · facing away from each other · considering seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle · cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch · asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering.
📍 What are the plans for vaccinating people who are housebound?
The Pfizer vaccination, which is the one that is currently available to us, is not suitable for administration to people in their own homes due to its characteristics around mixing and storage.
The Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccine will be used to vaccinate people who are housebound as soon as it is available to us. At the moment we have not been told when this will be. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know via our Facebook page and our website.
📍 When will unpaid carers be vaccinated?
If we know that you are an unpaid carer you will now be invited when priority group 6 are invited for vaccination. If you qualify for a higher priority group for other reasons this will still apply and you will be invited accordingly.
If you have not already told us that you are an unpaid carer please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org This is the same process that we use for inviting carers for flu immunisations. We will add this information to your medical record and invite you when your time comes.
📍 What if I work in Frontline Healthcare in another capacity?
We are encouraging any patients who work in frontline care, to let us know. This might be as a dentist, physio, pharmacist, mental health worker, to name but a few. Please let us know your job role, and employer by emailing email@example.com, so that we can code your patient record and invite you for a vaccine as soon as possible.
📍 Why are other places in the country getting the vaccine before us?
Because this is such a huge task, the vaccination programme is being rolled out in phases across the country, which is why some areas may have started the vaccination process before us. As a practice, we are committed to delivering any vaccine that is supplied to us as speedily and safely as possible.
📍 How many vaccines will I need?
You will require 2 vaccinations for long term immunity. The second will be approximately 11 weeks after your initial dose. You will be contacted for the second vaccine in the same way you were contacted for your first vaccination.
📍 Do you have plans to vaccinate people more locally?
We plan to have measures in place to administer the vaccine locally, more like our flu vaccination clinics once the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine becomes available to us. This will be dependent on NHS England allowing Practices to do this from their own surgeries.
📍 How will you keep us updated on news of the vaccination programme?
We will keep you updated via our Facebook and website. Our PPG also have a page on Facebook which is also a useful resource
📍 How can I help share this information?
Please share this post with people who live in the area so we can make everyone more aware of the situation, particularly those that may not have access to the internet. #spreadthenews
📍 Any final thoughts?
Please be assured that we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. If you have changed your contact details recently please let us know by sending us a message to Poplar.firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone single one of you in the priority groups has a code attached to your medical records so we know whom to invite when.
As with anything new we will be learning as we go along and striving to get better at what we do so that every single person in the national priority groups is offered Covid-19 vaccination as safely and quickly as possible.