Flu Clinics 2020

We have been exploring options on how best we deliver the flu vaccine to you as it’s become very unlikely that we will be able to offer mass flu clinics this year due to the on-going threat of Covid-19.

We have had to factor in social distancing into our flu vaccination schedule and so we are introducing a new system to keep everyone safe. Our usual service will operate by appointment only this year and all patients must book their slot in advance. We are also hosting our clinics at the surgery so we can facilitate social distancing. 

Please read the important information below.

Clinic times available to pre-book from 1st September onwards

Clinic appointments are from 08:00 to 16:00. Please do not just turn up. Appointment only

  • Saturday 19th September – Patients over 65 years of age
  • Saturday 26th September – ‘At risk’ patients between 18 and under 64 years of age
  • Saturday 3rd October – Patients over 65 years of age
  • Saturday 10th October – ‘At risk’ patients between 18 and under 64 years of age
  • Saturday 7th November – ‘At risk’ patients aged under 18 years old and children aged 2 and 3 years (other children will be vaccinated at school by the school nurses)

Or book an appointment in one of our weekday clinics. We aim to have appointments available during the week please ask reception for more details.  

Instructions for attendance at our flu clinic.

  • Appointments will be made four minutes apart to enable social distancing and cleaning.
  • The slots will be timed, but only as an estimate e.g. your appointment time will be 10:04.
  • Please do not arrive at the surgery any earlier or later as we have allocated a strict number of patients per period to ensure you are queuing outside for the minimum amount of time and social distancing is maintained.
  • Please wear a face covering
  • We encourage you not to touch anything whilst you are in the building. Hand sanitiser will be available on entry
  • Please attend on your own unless you need help in mobilising.
  • Please follow the instructions for queuing. The queue will be controlled to ensure social distancing. If you are in a wheelchair or have very limited mobility, please make yourself know to the queue marshal who will be wearing a luminous yellow jacket.
  • There will be no chairs available to sit while waiting.  If you think you will struggle with this, please speak to the queue marshal on arrival. We will do our best to assist you.

Should you have a disabled parking permit you will be allowed to enter the car park and we will do our best to have someone vaccinate the passenger whilst in the vehicle to save you getting in and out.

  • Wear clothing which makes it easy to expose your upper arm as we will be unable to help you undress. We will be using the no-touch technique for vaccinating.
  • If it is raining on the day, please come prepared with an umbrella as the queue will be outside for a short period of time.
  • Please heed the instructions of the staff who are supervising the patient flow – they are there for your safety.

For all flu clinics:

Important:

Your attendance at the clinic implies consent which the clinician will check with you on arrival. If you have a severe allergy to eggs or have reacted in the past to the flu vaccine, please make sure you let the clinician know when you have your vaccine.

Do not attend if you have COVID symptoms

Do not attend if you are isolating or in quarantine according to Government Guidelines

Please remember to cancel your appointment if you are no longer able to attend.

Flu 2020 – Frequently Asked Questions 

Who will be eligible for the free flu jab this coming winter?

Below is a full list of those eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS this year (2020/2021);

  • All patients aged 65 or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021);
  • All children aged two to eleven (but not 12 years or older) on 31 August 2020;
  • Children in primary school (these vaccines are available via the school ONLY);
  • Children in year 7 school (these vaccines are available via the school ONLY).

NB: Wokingham Medical Centre will vaccinate all 2 and 3 year olds and children in the ‘at risk’ groups aged 4 to 17

At Risk Categories:

Patients aged from 6 months to less than 65 years of age with a serious medical condition such as:

  • Chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
  • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability
  • Diabetes
  • Patient with Splenic dysfunction or no spleen
  • Weakened immune system due to disease (such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, HIV) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
  • Morbidly obese defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and above
  • All pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)
  • household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable
  • people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence, or boarding schools (except where children are of primary school age or secondary school Year 7).
  • those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
  • health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
  • health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
  • health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users.

Will you let me know if I am eligible?

We will not be sending out letters to patients to help minimise waste and the impact on our environment; it also helps to reduce administration at the practice. You may receive a personalised text message on your mobile phone promoting the clinic.

If your contact details have changed in the last year please update us so that you can take advantage of this service.

 What about my one year old child, do they qualify?

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of two. Some children over the age of two who are in a high-risk group will also need to have an injected vaccine if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

How do I book?

NB Appointments will be released on 1st September 2020

If you are eligible:

Please telephone our dedicated flu line any week day from 10th September onwards to book your flu vaccination on 0118 4020501. Please try between 13:00 and 16:00 when the phone lines are quieter.

I am aged 50-64; what about me?

More information will be available to the 50-64 ‘newly eligible’ patients later in the autumn. If you do not have a long term condition, you shall only become eligible later in the season. We will text you when further details are announced, so please let us know if you recently changed your mobile number. Details will also be on our website and Facebook page.

Important note:  If you’re aged 50 to 64 but also in another at-risk group, you should book for your flu vaccine and not wait (bookings start from 1st September).

How do I decline?

If you already know that you don’t want a flu vaccine at all please tell us. You can send an email to decline if that’s easier so that your vaccine can be offered to someone else who needs it: This year more than ever, this is very important as vaccines supplies are expected to be in extremely high demand. Email: admin.wmc@nhs.net

If you change your mind later in the year, you are welcome to ask for the vaccine, but we cannot guarantee to still have supplies.

Can I have my flu vaccine when I am coming to the surgery for another medical reason?

Yes, but only if you have an appointment and time allows on the day. If an eligible patient is already coming in for a face to face appointment with a clinician a flu vaccine can potentially be given if time allows on the day.

This will only apply to appointments after the following dates:

  • From 10th September onwards
  • From mid -November (we believe) for the newly eligible 50-64 year olds

What are the side effects from the flu vaccine?

Please see this website for the most up to date information regarding side effects: www.nhs.uk/flu-vaccine-side-effects

Why should I come to Wokingham Medical Centre for my vaccine?

The surgery purchases flu vaccines on your behalf so please have your vaccine with us.

Every year NHS England sets public health targets for flu vaccinations for at risk groups and each year Wokingham Medical Centre commits itself to the health and well-being of every one of our patients.  Part of this commitment is that your practice pays upfront to ensure all of our at risk patients has a vaccination available to them at the practice; which involves a financial risk to us as we are only reimbursed for the cost of vaccinations actually administered.

Whilst we will always remain advocates for you and your autonomy is paramount to us, we ask that you consider supporting your practice and the investment we’ve made in your health and wellbeing when considering who you chose to receive your vaccination at the practice.  Please support us to continue supporting you!

When we vaccinate you against flu we also obtain vital data that is necessary for your medical record and care. If you choose to go elsewhere for your vaccine such as a pharmacy or supermarket, we cannot gather this information, and they do not gather this for us, so please book at the Surgery.

We work fast and are practised in vaccinating you, informing you of updates required and gathering data so this does not take long. This saves all of us a lot of additional work and crucially, also saves on valuable appointments.

We will also advise you at the same time if you are eligible to be vaccinated against shingles, and/or pneumonia.

And finally, we also check if you are overdue a review for areas such as your blood pressure, medication, asthma, diabetes etc.

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, please book your vaccine with the surgery and help us gather your data and ensure your health is up to date all in one appointment.

Mythbusters:

  • We have not asked any pharmacy or supermarket to give you the flu vaccine on our behalf or gather vital medical updates. We do prefer to do this ourselves please.
  • You are not doing us a favour, or saving us time by having your flu vaccine somewhere else.
  • The pharmacies and supermarkets are not doing us a favour by giving you the vaccine.
  • Pharmacies and supermarkets do not have access to your full medical record/history or know you as well as we do.