Hot Covid-19 Vaccine News

22nd January 2021 Update

We have been working flat out over the past week inviting and vaccinating as many people as our vaccine supply has allowed. We have received very positive feedback about the vaccination centre and taken on comments about how we can make it even better.

We have now invited 1310 people for a COVID vaccination including about 250 of our staff, care home staff and frontline healthcare workers who are our patients.

This means that we have been able to invite surnames A-M, ahead of where we thought we would be and a real testament to how hard our reception teams have been working to give people an opportunity to be vaccinated. 828 people have booked their first appointment for this week’s clinics and 213 are still to book.

For those of you that we have called multiple times but not been able to contact, you will receive a letter asking you to contact us to book your appointment.

We are delighted that we have already been able to vaccinate approximately 330 residents in 6 of our care homes, plus some of their staff. We will be vaccinating around 90 more residents on Friday 22nd January and more care home staff. Not a drop of vaccine is being wasted.

We are also aware that there are many of you who are over 80 who have had your vaccinations at the Odeon cinema in Aylesbury or at a vaccination centre even further afield.

As soon as vaccine supply allows, we will be turning our attention to those of you who are totally housebound. For those people who are physically unable to get into a car or have a clinical condition that makes it impossible for them to attend the vaccination centre we will arrange to vaccinate you at home. You will be called by us the day before we are able to vaccinate you so that nobody is taken by surprise. The member of our team giving you your vaccination will have their ID badges so that you know that the vaccination is from us.

Making sure that everyone has the opportunity to be vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible is very important to us. Vaccinating people at home takes significantly more time so please be patient with us as we seek to vaccinate everyone in turn.

For everyone who is able to leave their home we urge you to take up the offer of a vaccine at one of the vaccination centres. We are not able to vaccinate other members of the same household unless they too meet the criteria above so please take up any vaccination offer that you receive to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbours as quickly as possible.

We recognise that many patients have been shielding for a long time and may be anxious to journey out. The safety of patients and staff at the vaccination hub is paramount so all necessary precautions are in place to make it a safe place to go. We are receiving very positive feedback from those who have attended the vaccination centre already. There are lots of volunteer marshals at the vaccination centre to lend support and assistance as needed, including help with wheelchairs.

For those of you who need assistance with transport there are also lots of volunteer transport options available, please see our FAQs for further information on this.

18th January 2021 Update

Can I go back to normal activities after my vaccine?

We are all very excited for the future when we can visit people we haven’t seen in months and we are one step closer with the vaccine. Unfortunately, we will need to wait a little longer. We are still in a national lockdown, until the government says otherwise, and having the vaccine does not change the restrictions applied to visiting family and friends

However, you should be able to resume activities that are normal for you as long as you feel well within your home.

  • If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult so be careful.
  • If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving.

Will the vaccine fully protect me?

The Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from Covid-19 disease. Rest assured that each vaccine has been tested in more than 20,000 people in several different countries and is shown to be safe.

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and once you have had both doses of the vaccine, this will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

It will take one to two weeks for your body to build up some protection after your first vaccination. Please continue to shield and isolate for a few weeks as appropriate to you.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but your symptoms should be less severe.

Can you give COVID-19 to anyone if you have had the vaccine?

We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk. It is still possible to pass the virus through touch. So please make sure you follow the government’s guideline to help protect all of your family, friends and neighbours.

To make sure we keep the rates as low as possible in Buckinghamshire and to protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • Follow the government’s guidelines

Will I experience any side effects after having the vaccine?

You may experience some side effects but they are often mild or moderate and will go away within a few days of appearing. If side effects such as pain and/or fever are troublesome, they can be treated by medicines for pain and fever such as paracetamol.

Here are some common side effects that may occur but should resolve on their own:

Very common: may affect more than 1 in 10 people

  • Pain at injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

Common: may affect up to 1 in 10 people

  • Injection site swelling
  • Redness at injection site
  • Nausea

Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Feeling unwell

Rare side effects: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people

  • Temporary one-sided facial drooping

Although we do not fully know the rate of more serious allergic reactions these are thought to be very rare. Each vaccination centre is fully equipped for this very rare eventuality.

Update on vaccinations for care home residents and people who are housebound

We are still expecting that our first batch of Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccines will arrive today. We are working with all of our care homes to make sure that all of the necessary consents and safeguards are in place to vaccinate care home residents as quickly and safely as possible. As we receive more vaccine will be able to roll this out to more care homes.

Once we have vaccinated all care home residents any supplies of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccines that we receive can then be prioritised for those people who are housebound. We have a record of everyone who is housebound, which we use for our flu immunisation programme. As soon as we have vaccine supply confirmed we will be calling people to book them in for their vaccination at home.

The speed at which we can do this will be partly dependent on vaccine supply and partly having healthy staff and trained vaccinators available to administer the vaccination.

Please help us by following government restrictions and social distancing advice so that we can reduce the risk of staff falling ill or having to self-isolate with Covid-19.

We are confident that all of the measures we have in place at our surgeries fully protect our staff and patients.

Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

6th January 2021 Update

Great news! We have just received confirmation that our local Covid-19 vaccination centre will receive 975 Pfizer vaccines on Monday 18th Jan, and then another 975 Pfizer vaccines on Thursday 21st Jan.
The vaccination centre will run clinics for patients aged 80+ on Tuesday 19th Jan afternoon, all day Wednesday 20th Jan, Friday 22nd Jan afternoon and all-day Saturday 23rd Jan.

Currently we have a set number of vaccines coming in and we hope that NHS England will be able to maintain this quantity of deliveries, or more, in the future so that we can vaccinate everyone as quickly as possible.

Currently, we have been allocated 400 vaccines for Westongrove patients from these first deliveries. There are 1500 Westongrove patients age 80+, so if we receive a consistent supply, we should be able to have everyone over 80+ vaccinated within the next 3-4 weeks. If we receive more vaccines we will be able to vaccinate more people more quickly.

If you have a mobile, you will receive a text with a link to book your first and second appointment, you will then get a text reply confirming your appointment slot. If you do not have a mobile number, we will be telephoning you and we will book the appointments for you. If we cannot get through the first time we will try again and leave you a message on your answerphone asking you to call us back ASAP.

When it is your turn to come to the Covid-19 vaccination centre to receive your vaccine please do not skip the queue and please do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment time so we can maintain social distancing.

If you have already had a vaccination at one of the mass vaccination sites you don’t need to let us know as that data is being sent directly to us.

We have tried to create a system which is as easy as possible for all. To do this as fairly as possible, we are inviting our patients to get the vaccine centre in alphabetical order. We are also trying to make it easy for households, this means that if you are over 80+ and your partner or spouse is in the over 75+ group in the same household, we will offer you both an appointment at the same time so you can come in together.

As a practice we have the details of which priority group everyone is in and everyone will receive an invitation to have the vaccine. We strongly encourage everyone to take up the offer of a vaccination to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbours.

Thanks for everyone who is waiting to be contacted. This gives us the capacity to call and book people’s appointments as smoothly as possible. Everyone will be contacted in turn and if people are calling us instead of waiting to be contacted this will slow everything down for everyone.

We will be posting more information about what to expect at the vaccination centre in the near future, watch this space.

Please share this information with people who may not have access to Facebook or our website #spreadthenews

Kind regards,

Westongrove Social Media Team