Kendal v Covid
Update on AstraZeneca Vaccine
- On Wednesday 7th April, guidance was changed relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- This relates to an extremely rare reaction that seems to affect 4 people in every million that receive the AstraZenaca COVID vaccine (0.0004%).
- This update only relates to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Guidance for the Pfizer vaccine remains unchanged.
- The InfoGraphic below compares the number of people who are likely to become very unwell from COVID over a 16 week period, to those who become very unwell from the vaccine. We hope that you find it helpful.
What next on the first doses?
- Like any medicine, risks are always compared to benefits.
- For those in Groups 1-9 (who have already been offered vaccination), the relatively large risk of serious harm from COVID infection needs to be balanced against the tiny risks from AZ vaccination. We would encourage everyone in these groups to continue to get vaccinated with 2 doses of vaccine.
- Later this month, we hope to start being able to offer COVID vaccine to low risk patients who are under 50.
- The updated guidance recommends any available vaccine for those over 30, but for those under 30, because your risk from COVID infection is very low, the benefits of AZ vaccine versus possible side effects become smaller, and you may wish to wait until an alternative to AZ is available.
- We currently have no idea when we will get supplies for first dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
- There are lots of useful websites to get balanced information – we would recommend https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55302595.
- Public Health England has produced a useful summary too – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/976880/PHE_COVID-19_AZ_vaccination_guide.pdf
What about the second dose?
- If patients have had their first dose of AZ and had no serious side effects then they should complete the course with AZ.
- This includes patients aged 18-29 years old who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed.
Information from PHE on this issue for healthcare professionals – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-blood-clotting-information-for-healthcare-professionals/information-for-healthcare-professionals-on-blood-clotting-following-covid-19-vaccination
Slides from No 10 briefing showing diagramtic risks v benefits – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/976877/CovidStats_07-04-21-final.pdf
Patient leaflet from PHE – not straightforward though it is helpful https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/976880/PHE_COVID-19_AZ_vaccination_guide.pdf
Groups 1-9 (All Over 50s and Clinically Vulnerable) - Register for Vaccination
All patients in Group 1-9 are eligible for their first Covid-19 Vaccination. If you haven’t got an appointment, please use this form to register you details. We will check your eligibility and then send you a text message to your mobile number that will allow you to book your appointment. There can be a 24 hour delay from submitting the form to receiving the text message.
This is only for patients who are registered at the GP surgeries in Kendal.
Carers - Register for Vaccination
If you have significant caring responsibilities and support a vulnerable person who would potentially be put at risk should you contract COVID-19, please register your details and we seek to invite you for a vaccination as supply permits.
We are starting to receive our vaccines for second doses. We will invite people for their second dose around the 8-10 week point. The second dose will be the same vaccine as your first dose. If your first dose was Pfizer, it is important that you attend when invited, as we have very limited supply and the vaccine expires after 5 days, so we cannot easily reschedule. If your first dose was AstraZeneca, there will be more flexibility on second dose clinics.
If your first invite came via text message, you will receive a second text giving options for booking your second dose.
If you were contacted by phone, you will be called again. (However, if you can check and ensure your GP surgery has a mobile number, that will make it easier to contact you.
If your first appointment was booked by a staff member from the practice, we have your details on record and will send you a text message (if you have a mobile on file) or call you.
We are getting limited notice of when our second dose vaccine supply will be delivered to our surgeries, so we apologise for the short notice.
If we have not contacted you by 11 weeks, please send us a message to email@example.com with your name and date of birth, and we’ll check the medical records and get back to you.
The primary method we are using to invite patients for their COVID-19 Vaccination is via text message (similar to shown here, although the text is varying), with a link to book your preferred slot. It will look similar to this, the booking link will start “accurx.thirdparty.nhs.uk/r/” or “book.nhs.me/r/“. These are genuine messages from the practice.
Mass Vaccination Site - Update
Qu. Is Kendal PCN still vaccinating patients or is the Mass Vaccination site taking over now?
Kendal PCN will still be vaccinating patients. The Mass Vaccination Site is a shared space between Kendal Primary Care Network (The Green Entrance) and the national vaccination team (Blue Entrance). We anticipate most of the vaccinations happening at the Westmoreland Shopping Centre site, as parking, public transport access, and movement around the site is easier. It also allows us to share resources such as stewards.
Qu. Will this mean more vaccine being available
Yes. Mass Vacc sites (MVS) vaccine comes from a different ‘stream’ to the PCN one, so we expect more vaccine to be available to our patients.
Qu. If you have had your first vaccination with Kendal PCN, can you have the second with the Mass Vaccination team?
No. Patients should have both doses of vaccine from the same provider. If you booked your appointment with Kendal Primary Care Network (at either Captain French site or Westmorland Shopping Centre), they your second vaccination will be with the same provider, as they will be allocated your second dose of vaccine.
Qu. If you have received a letter and already booked into the Mass Vaccination site but then get invited to an earlier appointment with Kendal PCN, can you change your booking?
Patients are free to cancel appointments – either with us or the MVS – as they wish.
To reduce waste in the system, patients should ensure that they cancel both MVS site appointments should they wish to be vaccinated with ourselves.
Qu. Why are patients with an appointment with us being contacted by the MVS and visa versa?
The Community (Kendal PCN) system and the MVS system are COMPLETELY independent. We can see, within a couple of days, if a patient has been vaccinated, but neither side can see if a patient has an appointment.
Qu. Will vaccinations still take place at Captain French?
Yes. The mass vac site doesn’t have adequate seating for Pfizer vaccination, due to the requirement for a 15 minute wait following the vaccination.
Qu. When will we get the second dose?
The second dose nationally is scheduled to happen around 11-12 weeks. We will re-invite patients for their second dose once vaccine supply is confirmed nearer the time of the second dose.
Over 80s Priority Group
We have almost finished vaccinating all the over 80s in Kendal. If you are over 80 and a patient of one of the GP practices in Kendal and haven’t been contacted and got an appointment, please call your surgery to book a slot. We will shortly we vaccinating the 75+ group.
We are calling people for vaccinations in order of the JCVI priority groups. Once we have completed a group, we will post on our Facebook page just in case we’ve missed anyone, and then they can contact their GP surgery to request an appointment.
Questions about the Vaccination Programme
The BioNTech / Pfizer ‘Courageous’ vaccine is now being made available in Kendal. The supply is limited across the country, but it is being distributed to Primary Care Networks.
The supply is arriving in batches of approximately 1,000 vaccines. We currently anticipate it will arrive roughly one batch a week, but hopefully it will be faster than this.
The AstraZeneca / Oxford ‘Talent’ vaccine will be arriving in smaller batches from the end of this week. This is likely to allow us to start vaccinating our housebound patients, and we are awaiting confirmation as to how this is best achieved.
The vaccination will be prioritised to those most in need, particularly the elderly and those who are vulnerable and with pre-existing medical conditions. As the supply of vaccinations become available, more people will be invited.
We are in the process of contacting the most vulnerable in category 1 and 2 to invite them for a vaccination. Due to many in this group not having mobile phones, we are calling these patients. We are working down our priority list, starting with the oldest. For the first batch of vaccine, we only had a few days notice, so to ensure no vaccine was wasted, if we weren’t able to contact a person by phone, we continued down the list. Those who we couldn’t reach will be contacted for the next batch due in January.
Further more detailed Government Guidance is available.
This priority list is as follows:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
Currently, there is nothing you need to do. Your GP Practice will contact you and invite you to an appointment to be vaccinated when you are eligible based on your age and health.
The vaccine is optional but highly recommended.
Based on the latest government guidance, both Pfizer and Oxford vaccines require two doses, and these will now be given 8-12 weeks apart. Depending on the availability of the vaccine, it may be possible to book both appointments at the same time, or it may be we have to arrange the first vaccine and then schedule the second vaccine at a later date.
The logistics for providing the vaccination to Kendal are still being worked out, but it is likely you will be invited to one of the Kendal GP surgeries. Nationally there are two streams of planning for the vaccination, through GP practices and also regional community sites. Further information will be given as plans develop. You do not need to do anything at this stage.
You will be vaccinated in the upper arm. When you arrive at the vaccination room, please remove your coat and come wearing a short sleeved top, so the clinician can easily access your arm. You MUST COME WEARING A FACE MASK.
The vaccination will be provided free of charge through the NHS.
We are still awaiting further guidance regarding this. Once we receive official guidance we will update it.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 2 metres away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following NHS guidance to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Yes. The situation is evolving, but the current focus is to vaccinate as many people as possible, in order of priority based on medical need. The current guidance remains regarding social distancing and personal protective equipment. This will be reviewed in time and may be amended.
Patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.
Health Care Workers
Frontline health care and social workers are eligible for the vaccination as part of JVCI Priority Group 2. Previously Kendal PCN was provided vaccine to support this group, however, this vaccine has now be provided to Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust for this group. If you already have an appointment booked with Kendal PCN, we have enough vaccine for you, and we will also contact you in future for your second appointment. If you are still waiting or haven’t heard from us, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to register your details to get vaccinated. I’m afraid we don’t have more information about the process the hospital are using to book patients.