COVID-19 Tests – Guidance for the public
COVID Vaccination in Pregnancy
We are getting a lot of queries from pregnant women wanting to know their options regarding the COVID vaccination. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published an excellent decision tool which will help you to decide what to do. Please note that we cannot respond to individual queries; all the information you need to know can be found at:
AZ Vaccination Risk for Specific Groups
Please note that it is not possible to provide individual risk assessment for the AZ vaccine in specific conditions, and we would ask patients to make their own decision about whether to take the vaccination, as they would any other medical treatment. This is because not enough is known about the vaccine’s effect in conjunction with specific disorders and more research is required. A lot of patients have asked about the risk for people who have had blood clots or who have conditions which might increase their risk of blood clots. The Government advice about this is below:
The Expert Haematology Panel advise that there is no evidence that individuals with a prior history of thrombosis (blood clot) or known risk factors for thrombosis are more at risk of developing the immune complication reported after the AZvaccine. Furthermore, for the majority of individuals, the risk of recurrent thrombosis due to COVID-19 infection is far greater than the risk of this syndrome.
- The Public Health England guidance can be found at: Public Health England guidance
AZ Vaccination Safety
We are receiving a lot of queries about the safety of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. We would encourage all our patients to make their own informed decision in the same way that they would decide whether or not to take any other medical treatment.
The official statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is:
‘JCVI has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.’
There have also been lots of stories in the press about the risk of blood clots compared to taking the combined contraceptive pill. The risk in both instances is extremely low, and we would advise women taking the pill that they are safe to continue to do so, but to make sure that they are up to date with their annual check.
The BBC have put together a good summary about the safety of the AZ vaccine which should help you make your decision www.bbc.com/covid-vaccine
To make sure everyone gets the vaccine in a safe and controlled way, a national prioritisation list has been established so the vaccine can be offered to those who need it first.
We are mandated to follow this list and, out of fairness to all of our patients, cannot send people for vaccination out of turn nor consider individual queries that do not meet the agreed criteria.
The practice does not hold any vaccines itself and our patients will be offered a space at the Jain Centre in Longsight, which we share with 11 other practices.
Please visit Gov.uk: Priority Groups for Coronavirus.
The priority groups are as follows:
- 1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers.
- 2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers.
- 3. All those 75 years of age and over.
- 4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable (“Shielding”) individuals
- 5. All those 65 years of age and over.
- 6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions. which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality; Carers
- 7. All those 60 years of age and over.
- 8. All those 55 years of age and over.
- 9. All those 50 years of age and over.
All housebound patients should have been contacted and vaccinated by Friday 26th February. If you are housebound and have not yet had your vaccination, please contact the practice.
If you are a Carer
The Green Book vaccination book for COVID-19 defines an Adult carer as: “Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable”
If you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance please provide us with evidence of this so that we can ensure your record is up to date.
Adult Carers are also able to use the National Booking System
If you are in Groups 1 – 4
Please contact us using our Ask Reception a Question form, giving us your details and we will book you in directly and send you a text with the details of your appointment.
If you cannot access the internet, then please call reception on 0161 881 4545 and we will do our best to help.
If you have just been added to the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list, and not contacted, then we will endeavour to book you in as a priority as soon as possible.
If you are in Group 5
You will either be called by one of the large vaccination centres, or you can book directly at one of the links below:
Etihad Tennis Centre
To book an appointment at the Etihad tennis centre, please visit www.gmmvs.nhsbookings.com.
NHS Booking Service
To book an appointment via the NHS booking service, please visit www.nhs.uk/book-coronavirus-vaccination.
If you are in Group 6
This is the largest group and we have been asked to call people who are the highest risk first, after we have ensured that Groups 1 – 4 have been completed as best as possible.
Please do not call the practice about your vaccination, you will be contacted in turn.
If You Have Asthma
Please see the Asthma UK guidance, which defines which people with asthma fit in Groups 4 and 6.
If you are a Carer
Please provide us with evidence of receipt of Carer’s Allowance so that we can update your record accordingly.
Patients will be called for vaccination at the appropriate time, allowing for national supply, and we kindly ask you to wait to be contacted.
Where will the vaccinations be given?
The vaccination programme for all 6 practices in the West Central Primary Care Network, including this one, is being run at the Jain Centre in Longsight.
There are currently no plans to allow local practices to deliver the vaccination.
There is also a national recall programme running, so you may be offered a choice of a central site (the Etihad Tennis Centre or some chemists in Whalley Range).
It is your decision as to which you want to attend, but please note that we have no control over the booking process for this, so you may be called for your first dose by both sites.
When will I be called?
Patients will be contacted according to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Criteria as below.
Currently, Groups 1-5 are eligible to be called, with Group 6 starting soon.
We do not know when or if the programme will extend to healthy people under the age of 50. The programme is scheduled to run to August 2021.
I’ve received a text about the vaccine but I’m not sure it’s real
We are aware that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving license, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud.UK on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.
If you receive a text message from your practice it should start with:
This is a message for [name], date of birth [DOB], from [organisation name].
We are very busy at the moment vaccinating people against both COVID and flu and also supporting our patients with routine and urgent health requests so we are unable to answer questions about the Covid vaccination.
We have created a list of frequently asked questions which may be useful to you. There is also more information on the NHS website.
What vaccines for COVID-19 are currently available?
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.
Will I be able to choose which vaccination I want?
Patients will not be offered a choice of vaccination on the day, and we would strongly encourage you to attend when called.
Is the NHS confident the vaccines are safe?
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.
Will vaccines still be provided/can I still attend my appointment during the national lockdown?
Yes. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine, is an important medical appointment and so is within the rules wherever you live. Vaccinations will continue as normal in all areas through the national lockdown and beyond. If you have booked or are offered an appointment, please attend it.
Why are you postponing second doses?
The UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed to a longer timeframe between first and second doses so that more people can get their first dose quickly, and because the evidence shows that one dose still offers a high level of protection after two weeks.
This decision will allow us to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.
Getting both doses remains important so we would urge people to return for it at the right time.
Many thanks for your ongoing patience.