Message from Dr Katrina Young, Senior Partner at St Mary’s Surgery:
“You may have seen in the news that the NHS is starting its autumn COVID booster and flu vaccination campaign.
“For most people who are eligible for this, it means a 4th COVID vaccination will be offered at the same time as the annual flu jab.
“We strongly encourage everyone to get their FREE flu jabs and COVID boosters when offered, as with the winter months fast approaching, we know that respiratory diseases will be circulating widely in the community. We will have both the influenza virus and COVID-19 circulating which means that people who are most vulnerable may become seriously ill.
“Getting your flu jab and a COVID booster will set you up for the best possible protection for you, your family and the wider community.”
The vaccination programme
The local roll out of this year’s COVID booster and flu vaccination programme will begin on Saturday 1 October, with the first clinics held at St Mary’s Surgery (up at the portacabin on the Princess of Wales Hospital site).
As per last year’s seasonal vaccination campaign, it will be managed by the Ely Primary Care Network. The six GP practices, which make up the PCN, have worked hard to put robust plans in place to deliver both flu jabs and COVID boosters to all their eligible patients this autumn.
The vaccination clinics will be held at Cathedral Medical Centre, Staploe Medical Centre, St George’s Medical Centre (Littleport) and St Mary’s Surgery. Eligible patients will be offered an appointment at one of these four sites.
Clinics are expected to run from the beginning of October through to end-December.
Who is eligible?
Once again, our priority will be to vaccinate our older and most at-risk patients first, as well as health and social care staff.
Those eligible for booster vaccinations are:
- Residents and staff in care home for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 and over
- Those aged 5 to 49 in clinical at-risk groups, including pregnant women
- Those aged 5 to 49 who are household contacts of immunosuppressed people
- Carers aged 16-49.
COVID boosters and flu vaccines
Although they are separate vaccines, just as we have done previously, patients will be offered COVID-19 vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine at the same appointment.
The exception to this is the live nasal flu vaccine for our children who are aged 2 or 3 years by 31 August 2022 and children in the at-risk groups aged from 6 months to 17 years, who will be given the nasal flu vaccine. If they are eligible, they will be invited to a separate COVID vaccination clinic. We will be holding daytime clinics (Monday-Friday) at the surgery for this age group. Dates to be confirmed in due course.
Patients should note the vaccine being used for this autumn vaccination programme is only licensed for COVID booster vaccinations, and NOT for first course vaccinations.
What do I need to do now?
You do not need to do anything more at this point. Our clinical systems have been updated to cover all those who are eligible, and if this is you, we will contact you when it is your turn.
We will be in touch with you by phone or text, contacting you via the telephone numbers we have in your medical records – so please update your contact details if they have changed.
Please DO NOT ring the surgery to try and book an appointment. We will contact you when it is your turn.
We will continue to keep you updated of any developments. Please do keep an eye on our website or our Facebook page for the latest information
There are also information leaflets about the vaccines being used this autumn available for you to read:
Parents or guardians of children eligible for a flu vaccination are asked to complete the consent form and bring it with them to the appointment.