Covid-19 Vaccination Update

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COVID cohorts and vaccine booking information

We understand there are a number of queries within the local community about which patients are being invited by our practice and why for Covid vaccinations. We are now in week 8 of the vaccination programme.

Below is some information about the current Covid vaccine clinics

Who are we inviting?

Since January 2021, we have been informed weekly by NHS England which cohort of patients we are able to invite. This is nationally set (see information about priority groups here) and High Field Surgery and other practices are unable to move to different cohorts.

How much vaccine stock do we receive?

The vaccine stock we receive each week varies and is for the cohorts set out by NHS England for us to invite. The invite list is a nationally generated search.

Why are the younger cohorts being invited?

The vaccine programme has been moving quickly. The surgery has already vaccinated or offered a vaccine to all patients in Groups 1-5. This includes all patients 65 and above, plus all patients on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable register.

We have now been asked to move to cohort 6 which includes ages 16-64 at risk.

All patients aged 56 and above, Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or in receipt of Carers allowance are also able to book a vaccine online through the National Booking Service, or by telephoning 119.

How are we inviting patients?

As soon as we receive notification of our stock arriving (usually only a week before), we organise clinics and start contacting patients. This can be between 200-500 on average per week. We do this either by age or risk depending on the NHS guidance we are given.

How are we contacting patients?

Patients often have a preferred contact method recorded on their records. If we have a mobile contact number then we will text you if you previously consented to receive a text (some patients don’t), we try to ring you or we write to you. It can take a few days to contact everyone we are allowed to invite. This is why some will have received a text or a call before others receive their letter. This doesn’t mean those who receive their letter a few days after will miss out on an appointment.

If you wish to be contacted by text, please make sure we have a current mobile number.

We usually have more patients in each cohort than we receive stock for each week. We also share our stock allocation between the other practices in Holt Park Primary Care Network. Therefore some patients will be invited before others. We will get to everyone on the list.

Which vaccine are we receiving?

We either receive Astra Zeneca or Pfizer. We are only informed usually a few days before the delivery. We are unable to order stock as NHS England send us our allocation automatically. Recently High Field Surgery has only received the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

Why are we inviting 16-64 this week?

Last week NHS England informed practices that we have to invite the priority group 6 which is ages 16-64 years. This group have been identified and assessed nationally as being at a higher risk (this is not the same as the extremely vulnerable at risk group who have been asked to shield)

Who decides who is at risk?

The practice is not deciding which patients can and cannot have their vaccine. The searches we have to use to invite are nationally provided. We understand that some patients may be unsure why they have been invited.

If you are unsure why you have been invited, please ask when you are booking your appointment. If our receptionist is unable to see easily why you have been classed in an at risk group, you can discuss this further when you attend and see the GP, Nurse or Pharmacists administering the vaccine.

Why have some older patients not yet been invited?

All our patients aged over 65 have been vaccinated or invited. A tiny number haven’t responded and should contact us if they wish to proceed.

We were previously vaccinating patients in age order or their risk groups (cohorts 1-4) since January until 13th February. We had also started to move down the cohort 5 group age 65-70 but have been told this group will now be invited to attend another vaccination centre and we are to invite cohort 6.

Who is sending letters out for cohort 5?

NHS England will be sending letters to those being invited to the mass vaccination centres.

I struggle to get though to reception to book, how can I contact you?

Please do not ring reception to book a vaccine unless you have received an invite from us.

The phones are extremely busy with queries from patients about their vaccine, shielding and other Covid enquiries. This is causing a problem as patients wanting to book to see a GP, Nurse or other medical reason struggle to get through.

Please be assured that all our team are working extremely hard to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as we can but High Field Surgery are following NHS England guidance for who to invite and when. We are also providing routine care for all our other patients needs.

I have had my first dose, when will I have my second dose?

NHS England want patients to have second doses around 11-12 weeks after the first dose. They have stated they will make vaccine supply available for second doses in accordance with that schedule. As soon as we are advised of deliveries of second dose vaccines we will set up clinics and contact patients to book in. Please do not contact reception asking to book second doses, we will be in touch when we know more.

Thank you for your patience, we are committed to vaccinating all our eligible patients in the coming weeks and months.