Adult’s Flu Campaign
The annual winter flu vaccine campaign is once again upon us. As is usual practice we will only be offering vaccines in accordance with the eligibility criteria recommended by the government. Please note the temporary expansion of flu eligibility criteria during the pandemic has now ended, this means healthy 50–64-year-olds will not be eligible during this year’s campaign.
This year our flu vaccines are due to arrive in in the last week of September, we have been advised by the manufacturer that they are not currently expecting any delivery delays.
We do hope you understand that the delivery windows we are given by the manufacturer are beyond our control. We must decide each year whether to open our bookings early to give people the peace of mind that they have their appointment or wait until the delivery has arrived before opening bookings. Patient feedback tells us that most people much prefer to book in advance, this does however leave us at risk of needing to move appointment dates if there are delivery delays. We will always try to give as much notice as possible should this happen.
In line with most people’s preference to be able to plan ahead our flu booking system is now open. We have notified all eligible patients via text message unless you have specifically requested an alternate contact method, please allow a longer delivery window for standard post. Our text messages are sent out over a period of days as we have thousands of patients to invite so, please do not worry if your friend or relative receives their text before you. We have enough appointments and enough vaccine for everyone who needs one.
To avoid overwhelming our phone lines we do ask that where possible you book your appointment online. For your convenience, a booking link is provided with your text invitation.
If you are unsure if you are eligible for a flu vaccine this winter, you can use this free Flu Eligibility Checker and answer a few short questions. If you are still unsure please submit an eConsult for admin support. This will be passed to our nursing team who will be able to check your eligibility for you.
Children’s Flu Campaign
Our children’s flu campaign runs alongside our adult campaign however it is run slightly differently.
As the vaccines for children come from a central NHS supply, we are not able to order as far in advance, we must wait for confirmation from the NHS as to when ordering will be open.
Once we are able to order we will add clinics and send out invitations to parents via text message.
Children who are in a clinical risk group or are aged 2 or 3 on or before the 31st of August 2023 are eligible for vaccination at the surgery.
Children who do not fall into either of these categories are not eligible for their flu vaccine at a GP surgery. Depending on their age, they may however be eligible for a vaccine at school.
Each year we get a considerable number of parents asking for us to vaccinate their healthy school aged child at the surgery. Reasons for request often include missing the vaccine at school, being nervous to have it at school or wanting it sooner than the school date. Please note that we are unable to vaccinate healthy, school aged children at the practice. This is not us being difficult or not wanting to help, it is because we are only able to vaccinate the age groups that we are told to via national guidelines, just like the school nurses are only able to vaccinate the group that falls under their remit.
The school nursing teams must always offer catch up sessions if your child missed theirs at school, they will also be happy to accommodate anxious or nervous children. Every school office should hold the contact details for your local school nurses, this is who you should contact with any concerns, or to make an appointment if your child missed their school’s day.
Covid Booster Campaign
There are a wide variety of settings and locations able to provide you with a covid booster as and when you become eligible. To check if you are eligible and to book your booster please visit Getting a COVID-19 vaccine.