04 Oct 22
The Ely Covid Vaccination programme has officially begun. Almost 1500 COVID vaccines have already been given in Care Homes and and in first clinics held at St Mary’s Medical Centre in Ely. Over the next few weeks all eligible patients will be invited for their Autumn booster plus a seasonal flu jab. Invitations will be sent via text message, so if you have changed your mobile phone number recently, please let us know at the surgery so we can update your records. If you don’t use a mobile phone, you can call the surgery to make your appointment. This year you will notice that there is more choice of venue for the clinics, but unfortunately Haddenham and Burwell surgeries are still not an option.
Please be aware that these clinics are for COVID booster PLUS flu jab. If you have already attended another vaccination centre for your COVID booster and only require a Flu jab, please contact the surgery to make an appointment.
Visiting the housebound patients is being co-ordinated centrally this year (not by individual surgeries). This is because there is lots of cross over on the boundaries and it makes sense for one vaccinating team to see all of the housebound patients in a particular street regardless of where they are registered. The team will contact you to arrange an appointment.
05 Sep 22
The next phase of the Covid Vaccination programme launches today along side the Flu vaccination programme. However, like previous years we will not receive the vaccines until later in September. We will be posting more information and clinic dates as soon as they have been confirmed.
Please do not contact Reception as they are unable to book appointments as yet.
In the meantime you may find this collection of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS helpful.
20 Apr 22
COVID Vaccination Spring Boosters for 75+ Year Olds
13 Apr 22
Clinically Vulnerable 5-11 year olds
A small number of children aged 5-11 years old will shortly become eligible for their second covid vaccinations. We will contact all of these children to offer appointments, once the vaccine has arrived.
11 Apr 22
We apologise for the inconvenience caused when we had to cancel all of our under 18 year old patients, because the expected Pfizer delivery turned out to be the Moderna vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is only for adults. Click here for more information about the different types of vaccines. There are currently no appointments available at the Ely PCN clinics, but you can still book through the National Booking System.
07 Feb 22
Learning to Live with Covid
With Covid rules now changing in the UK, you may be looking forward to greater freedoms in your life, but for many people, the ending of Covid rules, whether that’s working from home, mask-wearing, or self-isolation, can cause some worry about staying safe – especially when it’s difficult for us to control the behaviour of people around us. Remember, you don’t need to feel under pressure to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Being open with other people about how you feel, while being aware that other people may feel differently, can be a helpful way to get through uncertain times.
The British Heart Foundation have put together some guidance which is relevant for everyone, and not just people with heart and/or circulatory conditions.
13 Jan 22
Since November anyone who had a positive PCR test could get a recovery certificate from Day 11 (via the app or the website). This can exempt the holder from further PCR testing as any test may be positive for weeks or months after infection. It is our understanding that the new self-reported lateral flows do not have the same legal basis and so recovery certificates will not be provided. Patients testing positive may wish to source their own private PCRs if they have imminent travel plans that require a PCR test (or exemption through recovery) prior to travel. Please do not contact your GP for such letters based on a self-reported positive lateral flow, as they won’t be able to help.
More information and links can be found on our COVID-19 Info page.
15 Dec 21
Up until now, people receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines have been asked to wait for 15 minutes before leaving the vaccination centre. This was because the rate of serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) reported after these 2 vaccines is slightly higher (around 5 to 10 per million doses) than after other vaccines (normally 1 per million).
Why is this changing?
Due to the Omicron variant, the booster programme for adults is being accelerated. As part of this, and given the very low rate of anaphylaxis, the 15 minute wait has been suspended, as we now have much more experience with giving these vaccines to millions of people. People are not normally observed for 15 minutes after other vaccinations.
You can read more about Waiting after your COVID-19 vaccination in this patient information leaflet.
14 Dec 21
Children under 18 do not have to demonstrate their COVID-19 status for entry to domestic events or venues in England.
From 13 December, fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 can request an NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel. A person with legal responsibility for a child aged 12 to 15 (such as a parent or guardian) can also request the letter on their behalf.
The NHS COVID Pass letter is not available to children aged 12 to 15 who have only received an incomplete course of vaccination (such as 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine).
You can get a NHS COVID Pass letter online. People requiring digital assistance can call the NHS 119 telephone service to request an NHS COVID Pass travel letter. The NHS COVID Pass letter will be sent to the address held on the child’s NHS record (the address held by their GP) and will show all the vaccinations they have received including any boosters. The NHS COVID Pass letter should arrive within 5 working days, but may take slightly longer in December due to the Christmas postal service.
The NHS COVID Pass letter service is for international vaccination status only and not recovery or negative test results.
This NHS COVID Pass letter service is not available for domestic use at venues and settings in England.
Your GP cannot provide you with this letter or service.
It is recommended that you follow the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to. Further details on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages and on the websites of your destination country.
14 Dec 21
Vaccinations Given Abroad
There is at last a new service that enables you to book an appointment to show evidence for any coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations you’ve had outside of England. This is so the NHS can securely update your vaccination record (and your NHS App).
You can use this service if you:
- are aged 18 years old or over
- have an NHS number
- have received one of these MHRA-approved vaccines outside of England – Oxford/AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) or Moderna (Spikevax)
This service is NEW and in great demand, please be patient, unfortunately there is nothing we at the surgery can do to quicken the process.
30 Nov 21
The government announced today a ramping up of the nationwide COVID booster programme in response to the new Omicron variant.
These changes include:
• all over-18s across the country being offered a booster vaccine, and
• the gap between 2nd doses and the booster reduced from six months to three months
Haddenham Surgery, along with the other surgeries within the Ely Primary Care Network, are waiting to hear from our Clinical Commissioning Group what these new changes mean for our COVID booster programme locally.
Please DO NOT ring the surgery to try and book for a booster. You will be contacted in due course.
In the meantime, we continue to roll out the existing booster programme at our vaccine hubs – Cathedral Medical Centre and Staploe Medical Centre.
22 Nov 21
As you have no doubt all seen in the news, the JCVI released updated advice on 15th November, regarding eligible cohorts for booster vaccinations. Their update advises that all adults aged 40-49 should also be offered a booster vaccination 6 months after their second dose. It also states that 16 and 17 year olds who previously were advised to have just one dose, should now receive a second dose.
To that end, we have thought very carefully about who we need to prioritise, while being very aware that we need to look after our (very tired!) staff who have worked so tirelessly delivering almost a year of clinics now. We are very conscious of how much extra we should take on at this point.
- Offering second doses to 16 and 17 year olds (being a much smaller group) is very doable within our current clinic programme, and doesn’t add too much more to the current schedule.
- Prioritising our housebound patients is very important to us – these are some of the most vulnerable of our patients and we feel it is very important to ensure they are protected as possible, so we are working (as individual practices) to deliver booster vaccinations to our housebound patients. This is quite a task, but one we feel we really need to commit to.
- Having thought carefully about the above, and the increased workload we are already agreeing to, we believe that it’s fair to advise all healthy 40-49 years to attend a mass vac site for their booster, with just the clinically extremely vulnerable in this age range being able to book into our clinics.
As always, we thank you all so much for your support, and hope that you can agree that he above are the correct decisions for our patients and our teams.
8 Nov 21
We now have the final details of the vaccination programmes for our housebound patients.
From the 8th November an extended team of ‘roving’ vaccinators will be visiting patients in their homes or places of residence.
Please note that with the very high number of housebound patients across our region, the roll out of this phase will take a number of weeks to complete – from booking appointment times through to the vaccination visits. Please be patient, nobody will be forgotten.
Having both the COVID booster and the flu jab will help protect you against the respiratory diseases that are circulating this winter.
What will happen?
The new phase for housebound patients will begin on 8th November. At some point after that date, you, your carer or relative will receive two separate phone calls. One about the flu jab and a separate one about the COVID booster.
Dates and times will be agreed with you and you will receive two separate visits for your winter vaccinations.
Please note the telephone calls will NOT be from the normal surgery number, but the caller will identify themselves.
The COVID booster is the Pfizer vaccine, which is being given to everyone across the UK as a booster. This will boost the immunity you developed from your first two COVID vaccinations.
Please note: A patient is deemed to be housebound when they are unable to leave their home environment through physical and/or psychological illness. Those who are housebound will have been identified by their registered GP.
3 Nov 21
Parents can now book COVID-19 vaccinations online for their 12-15 year old children.
The booking service will provide an additional option for parents to book a vaccine for their child, alongside the schools programme.
Go online and check the National Booking Service to see if local sites have appointments to vaccinate children and young people.
If your child has already been invited through their school, you needn’t do anything unless you wish to get your child vaccinated outside of school.
12 Oct 21
There is a delay in some Covid boosters and Flu vaccinations reaching patient records. The CCG know all about it and are in communication with the NHSE. The system does appear to be working in real time now, in so far as more recent data is reaching patient records, but there is still a back log. The data is on the national systems, they just haven’t forwarded it to the patient records yet. We are monitoring the situation and records will be updated as soon as possible. Please DO NOT phone us to tell us – thank you.
5 Oct 21
The six practices of the Ely PCNs gave over 91,000 Covid-19 vaccinations in the first two Phases of this programme. We have now started Phase 3 and have completed our first Covid-19 booster clinics, with the vast majority of people receiving their Flu vaccination at the same time. People will be invited for a booster via SMS text once they have reached 180 days after the date of their second vaccination. All eligible people will also be offered the Flu vaccination.
We appreciate that there is some anxiety for some people as we have reached the time they would generally have their Flu vaccination, but they have not yet reached their 180 days to make them eligible for the booster vaccination, the practices are not currently offering separate Flu clinics and the local Pharmacies are getting booked up. We are looking at possible solutions to these growing and will bring you an update as soon as we can.
28 Sept 21
There has been a big response to the invitations to make Covid-19 booster appointments with Flu vaccinations to be given at the same time. Over the coming weeks we will be uploading more patients onto the system as they become eligible, 180 days after the second vaccine. (Use this online calculator to find the date when your booster is due – simply add the date of your second vaccine + 180 and calculate)
Health and Social Care Staff are advised to book via the National Booking System or 119. You can self declare unless you have already been invited via text, email or letter. Again, you can only book 180 days after dose two. You will also need to take ID badge, wage slip or eligibility letter from employer less than 3 months old to prove your identify.
22 Sept 21
JCVI has advised that, COVID-19 and influenza vaccines may be co-administered, but that the COVID-19 booster vaccine programme should not disrupt or delay deployment of the annual influenza vaccination programme. Therefore, it is important individuals are offered their COVID-19 and influenza vaccines as soon as they are eligible, rather than delaying for the purpose of co-administration.
What does this mean for you?
- Ely PCNs were the first in our area to offer Covid-19 vaccinations, and that means some 5,000 people have already received a text from us inviting them to make an appointment to receive both vaccines. Appointments are available in Ely and Soham as before.
- Covid-19 boosters CANNOT be given less than 180 days after the second vaccination. We will be calling patients as they reach the 180 days. (Use this online calculator to find the date when your booster is due – simply add the date of your second vaccine + 180 and calculate)
- None of the practices in the Ely PCNs are currently offering Flu only clinics. We will call you for your booster and Flu vaccinations as soon as 180 days have passed.
17 Sept 21
COVID boosters will be administered as soon is possible to the original cohorts 1-9. We cannot deliver the booster earlier than 180 days from your second dose of the primary course. (Use this online calculator to find the date when your booster is due – simply add the date of your second vaccine + 180 and calculate)
“We aim to deliver the maximum available courses of vaccine, combined with high uptake in priority groups in order to minimise morbidity and mortality as much as possible, as soon as it feasible to do so”.
All the eligible patients in Ely North and Ely South PCNS will be contacted via SMS and invite to make an appointment. Vaccinations will be at Staploe Medical Centre and Cathedral Medical Centre as before. We propose where possible, and with patient consent at the time, to co-administer the flu vaccination.
We will obviously prioritise those patients with the greatest need and those that are furthest from the 180 day vaccination point. We are starting with care homes and care home staff as directed by NHS England.
Thanks for your understanding and patience. Our amazing team is working as fast and effectively as they can to get this large task delivered safely, quickly and smoothly.
Dr Anthony Gunstone
Dr Richard Brixey
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who will be invited for flu jabs and COVID boosters?
Everyone over 50 or who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk from Covid-19 will be eligible for a flu jab and a COVID booster.
- Older adults living in residential care homes
- Frontline health and social care staff
- All adults aged 50 and over
- All those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
The booster dose will help to ensure those at higher risk from coronavirus, who were prioritised at the start of the vaccine programme, have enough protection going into the winter months.
- Why do I need to have both jabs?
The flu virus can be life threatening particularly for older people, those with underlying health conditions or in at risk groups. In England we offer a free flu jab every year to our most vulnerable patients and the vaccine helps to protect them from severe illness. This year it is extra important to get your flu jab if you are offered one as there are concerns that flu levels may be very high this winter.
The booster vaccine is being recommended to give longer-lasting protection from COVID-19. There are signs that immunity and protection offered by the COVID vaccine drops after some months – with the most vulnerable groups most at risk of this. Responding to this, the JCVI has indicated it wants to ensure the most at risk people maintain high levels of protection.
Therefore the flu vaccinations are being offered with COVID boosters, with the main aim of the booster programme being to prolong immunity and reduce serious disease.
- When can I have my jabs?
The local rollout is expected to begin in early October and run through until the New Year.
If you are eligible, the surgery will contact you in due course and invite you. The booking process will be similar to how the original COVID vaccination appointments were managed locally. If you have provided a mobile telephone number to the surgery, we will contact you that way. When invited, please click on the link in the message to book for your vaccinations.
In order to maintain the best levels of immunity, the COVID booster should be given at least 180 days after an individual received their second COVID vaccination.
Please wait until you are contacted by the surgery before trying to book an appointment.
- Where do I need to go for my vaccines?
All vaccinations given by the Ely Primary Care Network GP practices will take place at Cathedral Medical Centre or Staploe Medical Centre.
The clinics will be held on Saturdays as well as some evenings.
We understand some of the mass vaccination sites will be operating again to deliver this rollout too and some people might receive a letter from the National Booking Service inviting them to book that way.
- What vaccines will be offered for the COVID boosters?
The JCVI has recommended Pfizer BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines. These are both mRNA vaccines.* (see below)
Most people will be offered the Pfizer vaccine as their booster.
- What is an mRNA vaccine?
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine used to protect against infectious diseases and the world has been using them in the fight against coronavirus.
We are all now familiar with the image of the COVID-19 cell with crown-like spikes covering it. These are called spike proteins and they enable the virus to penetrate our body’s cells and cause infections; very serious infections in some people.
mRNA vaccines work by teaching the body to make copies of the spike protein. This in turn triggers an immune response within the body.
If we are then exposed to the real virus, our body will recognise it and know how to fight it off by producing antibodies which will only target the coronavirus.
mRNA vaccines DO NOT cause COVID-19.
- Will I be invited to have both vaccinations at the same time?
The JCVI has reviewed the evidence and advised it is safe to do so where it is possible practically. Therefore our PCNs are actively encouraging the safe administration of both vaccines at the same appointment.
At present there are no plans for separate clinics to be run purely for either COVID boosters or flu vaccines.
- Will I need to be monitored after my booster vaccine?
As was the case with the Pfizer vaccine given previously, you will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your booster jab. This is so that in the very unlikely event of a severe allergic reaction, help will be at hand.
- I had another vaccine for my first two doses, is it ok to have a different one?
Based on evidence from clinical trials run this year, the JCVI has advised it is safe to have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster, even if you didn’t have it previously. Provision has been made for a small minority of people who for clinical reasons will need to have the same vaccine as they received the first time round.
- What is the JCVI?
The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) is an independent expert advisory committee that advises the UK health departments on vaccination safety and implementation schedules. It has statutory responsibility in England and Wales.
14 Sept 21
The Prime Minister announced today, that in stage one of his Winter Plan, Covid boosters will be given to the immunosuppressed and extremely vulnerable over-16s, care home residents, frontline health and care workers, and all over-70s. Then in stage two they will be given to all over-50s, plus all over-16s in a flu or Covid risk group, and any adults who share their home with an immunosuppressed person.
Covid boosters can be given after 180 days following the second vaccine. Crucially it has also been agreed that it is safe for Flu vaccinations to be given at the same time as the booster (if the booster is due).
- Housebound patients will receive both of their vaccinations from the District Nursing team,
- Healthy 12-15 year old will receive their Covid vaccinations in school and
- Pre-school children will receive their nasal Flu at the surgery – we will contact you.
7 Sept 21
Unfortunately, (as of this moment in time) we are still unsure of how the Flu clinic and/or Covid boosters will delivered.
There appear to be a few problems with deliveries and many of the local practices have had notification to say the planned deliveries of Flu vaccines have been delayed. We haven’t had such notification, but were not expecting delivery until later in September, so we will have to wait and see on this front.
The second area is whether or not Covid boosters will be given now or at all. It would definitely be easier to give a booster and Flu vaccine at the same visit, but we also don’t want to delay the Flu vaccines either. Again we need to wait and see on this front.
We completely understand the anxiety all of this confusion can cause and we will share our plans as soon as we have received the guidance! We will do everything in our power to offer a service that is as safe and convenient as possible for our patients.
23 Aug 21
Details confirmed so far:
- All vaccines and boosters will be given at Cathedral Medical Centre or Staploe Medical Centre.
- There will be no flu clinics at individual surgeries, except for nasal flu sprays given to children
- All eligible patients will be contacted by their surgeries when it is their turn
- The clinics are expected to be held during evenings as well as Saturdays, starting from the end of September.
We expect that care home residents and staff, healthcare workers and those over 80 will be invited first. These are people who had their COVID vaccinations early in the year and who may now need a booster to ensure they remain as fully protected as possible.
People with chronic conditions or who are clinically vulnerable and those aged between 65 and 79 will also be called, with people aged 50-64 being invited in due course. It is hoped that the flu and booster programme will be completed as quickly as possible
Read all of the update ..Flu jabs and COVID boosters 23 8 21