Flu 2020-2021 – 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;
o Children in primary school (these vaccines are available via the school ONLY);
o Children in year 7 school (these vaccines are available via the school ONLY).
NB: Ringmead Medical Practice will vaccinate all 2 and 3 year olds and children in the ‘at risk’ groups aged 4 to 17
· 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
· 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 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:
The preferred option is using Online Access (e.g. NHS App or Patient Access) –
If you have signed up to this service please book online - please note the appointment time is not exact as we are trying to limit the numbers of people arriving at one time. Please complete the reason for your eligibility when making your booking. We will be contacting patients that have booked in error.
Please telephone Reception any week day from 1st September onwards to book your flu vaccination on 01344 20 80 60 – please try after 12pm 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-vaccine-side-effects/
Why should I come to Ringmead for my vaccine?
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 can offer to do this at the same time.
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.
Further updates will follow. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages.