Important Covid 19 Vaccination Update
Oxford Astra Zeneca Vaccine
Information related to incidence of PE/DVT (blood clots)
We have commenced our first weekend of flu vaccinations for children aged between 2-3 and also our COVID boosters.
All patients aged over the age of 50 and anyone over aged 16 and has an underlying health condition will be invited to a booster from six months after their second dose of the COVID vaccine.
You will not need to contact the surgery as we have an automatic system in place that will call you when you are eligible.
You can choose to have the COVID booster vaccine and/or the flu vaccine and you can decide on the day if you are eligible.
We are very pleased to let you know that we have been allocated lots more vaccine over the coming weeks. We are aware that not all patients in Ashford are able to commute to Folkestone so this is good news.
We are continuing to invite cohort 6 and we are revisiting cohorts 1-4 as well for this weeks clinic. We will also be able to accommodate any cohort 5 who could not travel.
We will then be moving on to cohort 7, 8, 9 within the next few weeks.
We have had a number of people not turn up for their appointments (rest assured no vaccine has been wasted) but if you have a booked appointment and have already had vaccine- please cancel so someone else can take that space.
From next week we will be starting 2nd dose vaccines as well. We will contact you with your appointment time, as this has now changed due to delivery updates.
We all want this vaccine program to work as quickly and efficiently as possible to get us all vaccinated.
All the practices in Ashford are working very hard on this campaign whilst also maintaining other services, please remember to be kind to staff.
We are not able to answer individual enquiries via Facebook for confidentiality reasons.
Please share this update to reassure people that they will receive vaccine.
Thanks you for your continued help and support.
The quantity of vaccines available to St Stephens Health Centre has been considerably lower than we had previously.
This is due to an increasing focus on providing vaccines through the mass vaccination sites and thus we are receiving less vaccine stock. This is not under our control as a Practice.
The inital groups, groups 1 to 4, that is, the elderly, housebound, nursing home residents etc, were better suited to being provided with their vaccines by their local GP, and we have completed the overwhelming majority of this work for their first vaccinations.
We are still working through our cohorts of patients and are focusing on group 6 at present (16 to 65 year olds WITH qualifying medical conditions)
We are also vaccinating Group 5 (That is healthy adults between the age of 65 to 70) but this group should also be eligible for vaccination at a mass vaccination centre and may achieve their vaccination sooner via this route.
However, If you are over 60 OR in an at risk group you can book a vaccination online here
For those able to travel to a mass vaccination centre we would recommend taking this option as your quickest and simplest route to vaccination.
It is likely the GP based vaccination service will continue to focus on the very elderly, the clinically vulnerable, and those with complex needs which make them unsuitable to be vaccinated at the mass vaccination center. We will, of course be undertaking the re-call of all these patients for their second doses in the near future, so these groups will continue to be the focus of our work for some time yet.
Meanwhile the mass vaccination center is likely to be the best and quickest route to a first dose of vaccine for most people, and they are currently offering booking to all those in groups 5 and 7 (that is people over 60 years of age).
Please watch the national website for updates on when mass vaccination booking is opened up to groups 8 and 9 (over age 55, and over 50 respectively).
We are receiving many calls regarding the vaccination programme. Unfortunately, we are unable to tell you precisely when you will get your vaccine as this is dependent upon supply of the vaccine.
Currently we are still working through Cohort 6 and have approximately 1500 more patients to invite from Cohort 6.
We hope to be able to send more invitations in the near future, but will post an update again when we have more information.
Thank you for bearing with us and can we continue to ask you to help us by not contacting the Practice in this regard.
Please be aware - if you are in cohort 5 you will have received a national letters inviting you to use the National Booking Service to have the vaccine at either a vaccination centre or a community pharmacy. You do need to contact the Surgery regarding this booking.
We are focusing on cohort 6, as instructed, and have already vaccinated a third of our patients in this group. We ask that you do not call us to chase your vaccine, as this causes huge pressure on our already busy phone lines. Be rest assured, when we are ready to vaccinate you, you will be contacted with a link to book via SMS or we will call you.
Please also note, if you are booked for a covid vaccine with us but you cannot attend, please do let us know. We have experienced a few patients who did not notify us of their cancelation which places pressure on staff to book at the last minute to avoid vaccine wastage.
We are preparing for our next clinic and awaiting further information for when our next delivery will be.
Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates.
We are currently vaccinating patients who fall into Cohort 6 which means patients who are aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions as indicated by the JCVI guidance.
Patients who are in cohort 5 (65-69) will receive national letters inviting you to use the National Booking Service to have your vaccination at either a mass vaccination centre or pharmacy.
Please remember that these cohorts have been set nationally and not by us - we are following guidance as set out by NHS England and our CCG.
There are approx 3500 patients in cohort 6 so bear with us whilst we concentrate on vaccinating this next group of patients. Please do not call the practice regarding vaccines - we will contact you as soon as we have an appointment available for you.
Whether you have had the vaccine or not we always recommend you continue with "hands, face space" - wash your hands regularly, wear a mask where possible, keep 2 metres apart.
Thank you for your continued help and support, we are extremely touched and proud to see so many positive comments regarding the vaccination clinics at St Stephens Health Centre and will continue the hard work for as long as we need to, to ensure our patients are safe
As you are aware we are currently finishing the vaccination of our patients who are in Cohorts 1-4 and have a remaining 6% of patients to complete.
We have so far vaccinated over 4,000 patients and Health and Social Care Workers during our clinics at St Stephens Health Centre.
We are ready to start our next cohort – Cohort 5 ‘65-year-olds and over’ and are awaiting confirmation from our CCG before commencing.
We are providing Covid-19 vaccinations at St Stephens Health Centre for all AMP patients.
We are currently provided home visits for those patients who are medically housebound.
We are also inviting patients based on the national priority list. Please be patient and wait to be contacted about when the vaccine is available for you.
You do not need to contact the surgery until you receive a letter, text or phone call about getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Our phone lines are very busy; please help us to keep lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters
We are currently inviting the few remaining patients from cohorts 1-4, which includes the following:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
Patients in these cohorts have been contacted in several ways including via phone calls, SMS, email and via post. If you cannot attend we recommend you call the COVID vaccine phone number you would have been given when booking your original appointment.
If you have questions about the vaccine please read the information below.
Should I come for a vaccine if I have symptoms of Covid-19?
No. If you or someone in your immediate household has symptoms of the virus it is essential that you self-isolate and book a test. Your vaccine can be re-arranged after your self-isolation.
If I’ve had Covid-19 do I need the vaccines?
Yes, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t
How soon after having Covid-19 can I have the vaccine?
It is recommended that people wait 4 weeks after recovering from Covid-19 or from being tested positive but not experiencing symptoms. We will rearrange invitations if you are in this situation when first invited to have the vaccine.
When will the second dose be given?
From 30 December the national guidance changed and second doses will now be scheduled for 1012 weeks after the first dose.
Can I pay for the vaccines privately?
No, all Covid-19 vaccines are being provided free by the NHS. If you see any offers to get the vaccine privately it will be a scam and you must not contact them.
Find out more
For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Kent and Medway please click here