COVID-19 : Vaccination guidance

General Guidance

  • This page is updated regularly.  We respectfully ask that you do not call the practice to inquire as to when you will receive your vaccination and refer to this web page for all information. 
  • Please refer to the vaccine schedule below to see the due date of the vaccine for your age group.  All of these dates are dependent on there being sufficient vaccine supply so may be amended from time to time following advice from NHS Highland. 
  • We will contact you when you are eligible to be vaccinated.  Please ensure you keep us up to date in any changes to your address and phone number.  We are texting, writing and phoning patients to arrange appointments so it is vital we have the correct details on record.
  • Please note that due to the volume of vaccines we have to issue (circa 10,000) we cannot have individual discussions with each patient to discuss the pro's and cons of the vaccine.  Generally speaking the advice is to receive the vaccine when offered. Patients are advised to carry out their own research if they want in depth information and ultimately the decision on whether to have the vaccine is a personal decision. 
  • You will not receive a choice of which type of vaccine you receive as our supplies are determined by national vaccine availability.
  • If you wish to decline the vaccine and have not advised our staff of this please email our team on nhsh.gp55751-admin@nhs.scot to inform us of your decision so we can record this on your file so that you will no longer be contacted by the surgery.
  • Please see below for the latest information regarding proof of vaccination for travel.
  • It is normal to have some side effects following vaccination.  This can include feeling flu like symptoms, tiredness, headaches and stomach upsets.  This will normally subside within 48 hours.  Please click on this link for further information.

10/06/2021: Proof of vaccination

The Government have announced that they have set up a portal whereby people can log in to request proof of vaccination.  This is intended to be used only by people who have booked international travel.  There are plans to issue digital vaccination certificates in the future.  Please follow this link to find this information online and to be able to access your records: Get a record of your Covid vaccination.

As per Government protocol, GP Practices will not be issuing letters to patients to provide proof of vaccination.  

 

Latest News- Last updated 21/06/2021:

  • Patients aged 18-39- all patients in this cohort have been contacted to invite them to a clinic to receive their first dose.  If you are in this age group and have not received a text please contact us to ensure we have your correct details on file.
  • All patients aged 45-49 who require their second dose will be contacted this week regarding their second dose.
  • 18-29 cohort- We are aware that social media sites and some local pharmacies are advertising that patients aged 18-29 need to register for their COVID vaccine through NHS inform.  We have verified with NHS Highland that this guidance does not apply to those living within the Highland region.  
  • Patients aged 40+ will only be offered the Astra Zeneca vaccine and there will not be an option to receive the Pfizer vaccine instead.  This has been decreed by the Scottish Government and we have to follow this guidance.  Therefore, if you are aged 40 and over and decline the Astra Zeneca vaccine you will be declining the vaccine completely.  

All patients aged 60+ and those categorised as shielding have now have had their complete course of COVID vaccine.  All those aged 40+ have been offered their first dose.  

If you are an adult household contact of severely immunosuppressed patients in Group 5 you are now eligible to be prioritised for a vaccine.  Please contact the surgery to ask for appointment availability (only if you are registered with our practice- People in this situation are to be vaccinated by their own GP). Household contacts are defined as individuals who are sharing living accommodation and for whom close contact is unavoidable.  This does not apply to immunosuppressed children, or contacts of immunosupressed adults who are children as the vaccines are not currently licensed for people under the age of 18.

Please see the JCVI schedule below for more information on the target dates of vaccination for each age group.

Vaccine schedule as per JCVI 

This is the order in which people will be vaccinated as per guidance from the Scottish Government.  Dates of vaccination are dependent on availability of vaccine.  We are allocated vaccine from NHS Highland who have their allocations determined by the Scottish Government.  

1. all those 80 years of age and over and front line health and social care workers - both doses given 
2. all those 75 years of age and over- both doses given 
3. all those 70 -74 years of age and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals - both doses given
4. all those 65 years of age and over-both doses given
5. carers and all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions**(see below) which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality - majority of patients have had both doses.  The Practice will contact those due their second dose to arrange an appointment.

**  The criteria for at risk is defined differently from the flu vaccine.  

If you receive the flu vaccine due to asthma you may not be automatically eligible for the Covid vaccine.  Patients who have a history of hospital admissions and/or those who require repeated doses oral steroids are included in the at risk group ie at least 3 doses over the past 2 years.  Those patients whose asthma is well controlled on inhalers are not included within the at risk criteria and will receive their vaccine according to their age group.  Patients including those whose asthma is well controlled on steroid inhalers are not considered high risk and will be vaccinated according to their age.  This is advice from the Scottish Government and the practice cannot deviate from this advice.

6. all of those aged 60-64 of age- both doses given
7. all those 55-59 years of age- target date is 15th April 2021- both doses given
8. all those 50-54 years of age - target date is 15th April 2021- both doses given

9: all those aged 16-49 - target date is 31st July 2021.  This cohort has been spilt into several groupings. Those patients under 50 are being vaccinated in groups according to age and will be text messaged to alert them of their ability to book an appointment:

45-49- first dose given - Invites will be issued this week for your second dose.

40-44 year old patients dates are still tbc- first dose given- You will be contacted by the surgery to receive your 2nd dose prior to the 12 week deadline.

35-39 year-  The target date for you to receive your vaccination is by the end of June.  21/06/2021 : We have had our vaccine delivery date confirmed by NHS Highland and we will not be receiving vaccines until the last week of June.  We have contacted all patients in this group to invite them to the available clinics.  If you have not received a text please contact the surgery.  We have two clinic dates available.  Due to the scheduled vaccine delivery date, one of the clinic dates falls out with the target date for your group, however this is beyond the control of the practice and the alternative date ensures you will receive the vaccination prior to 5th July.

30-34 -The target date for you to receive your vaccination is by the end of June.  21/06/2021: We have had our vaccine delivery date confirmed by NHS Highland and we will not be receiving vaccines until the last week of June. We have contacted all patients in this group to invite them to the available clinics.  If you have not received a text please contact the surgery. We have two clinic dates available, you will be informed of the dates when you speak with our administration team.  Due to the scheduled vaccine delivery date, one of the clinic dates falls out with the target date for your group, however this is beyond the control of the practice and the alternative date ensures you will receive the vaccination prior to 5th July.

18-29 year old patients - The target date for you to receive your vaccination is by the end of July.  21/06/2021: We have contacted all patients in this group to invite them to the available clinics.  If you have not received a text please contact the surgery.  We have two clinic dates available, you will be informed of the dates when you speak with our administration team.    

Guidance on attending the surgery for your appointment:

When you are contacted you will be given a date and time for your appointment.  This will be only date available so you should do everything possible to attend on the date given.  This is due to restrictions with both availability of vaccine and the shelf life of the vaccine so unlike the flu clinics there is not a choice of dates and times available.

The receptionist will go through information you need on the phone including which entrance to use.  You will have to remain in the building for 15 minutes after your vaccination if you receive the Pfizer vaccine.

  • Do not attend if you have any symptoms of COVID-19- fever, persistent cough, loss of or change to taste and smell
  • Do not attend if you are currently self isolating
  • Do not attend if you have had a positive COVID test in the last 4 weeks

On the day:

  • Arrive on time- not early or late so we can manage queues and traffic and ensure that social distancing is maintained.  Queues build when people arrive early so please enter the surgery at your allotted time.
  • Come alone unless you require a carer/assistance.  If you are receiving the Pfizer vaccine there is a requirement to wait for 15 minutes after you are vaccinated.  Whomever you bring will be required to wait outwith the building during the 15 minute period post vaccination so we can ensure social distancing as we have limited room inside the building.  Thereafter they can collect you to assist you out of the building.
  • You will only receive your COVID vaccination- no other health matters will be discussed and you will not be able to request prescriptions.
  • Wear loose clothing that allows easy access to your arm and where possible avoid wearing many layers (although we appreciate this is more difficult for our more elderly patients.)
  • Please adhere to social distancing at all times.

Importance of cancelling in advance of your appointment if you are unable to attend:

Vaccines have a very limited shelf life.  Once opened a vial has to be used within 5 hours.  It is therefore vital that you attend your appointment and cancel in advance if you cannot attend.  Simply not turning up leads to vaccine wastage.  We have to prepare vaccines in advance of clinics and we base this on the numbers of patients booked in- a number of no shows therefore leads to vaccine wastage.  If you cannot make it- please cancel to help us prevent wastage - also, if we know in advance you cannot attend we can offer your appointment to someone else. 

If your clinic date is a Saturday you will not be able to phone to cancel on the day as the surgery is only open in order to run the clinics and the telephones are switched over to our out of hours service for the duration of the weekend. You therefore must tell us by 6pm on Friday if you cannot attend.

Astra Zeneca Safety Concerns:

The JCVI has issued advice regarding use of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. This is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-jcvi-statement/jcvi-statement-on-use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-7-april-2021.

In summary, the JCVI advises that:

  • It is preferable for adults aged <30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available. 
    • However, it's recognised that such individuals may make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.
  • To date, there are no reports of the extremely rare thrombosis/thrombocytopenia events following receipt of the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. All those who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should continue to be offered a second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of age.
    • This advice assumes that individuals did not experience any significant reactions or events following their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine.
    • If an individual experienced a significant reaction or event following their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, advice regarding further vaccination should be sought.
  • All individuals offered a COVID-19 vaccine should be fully informed about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

The MHRA has also issued advice regarding use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-issues-new-advice-concluding-a-possible-link-between-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-and-extremely-rare-unlikely-to-occur-blood-clots.

In summary, the MHRA advises that:

  • Administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in people of any age who are at higher risk of blood clots because of their medical condition should be considered only if benefits from the protection from COVID-19 infection outweighs potential risks.
  • Pregnancy predisposes to thrombosis, therefore women should discuss with their healthcare professional whether the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks for them.
  • Anyone who has symptoms four days or more after vaccination is advised to seek prompt medical advice, such as:
    • A new onset of severe or persistent headache, blurred vision, confusion or seizures.
    • Develop shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain.
    • Unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site.

This link provides further information for patients on side affects after vaccination: Vaccine Side Effects

Click here for the most up to date government guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccination or call the Scottish Covid-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week for assistance with general inquiries.



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