COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

Introduction

The GP practices in Bicester are working together to provide the COVID-19 Vaccination under the directions given to us by NHS England.

 

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective and it takes a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should lessen the severity of any infection. If you are currently pregnant, planning pregnancy in the next 2 months or breastfeeding please read the detailed information at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination

 

The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.  Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects.  Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

 

Vaccinations will be given from a central location in Bicester, that is suitable to vaccinate a large number of patients, safely, but in a timely manner.  This will also help us to reduce the impact on our surgeries, but as you will appreciate in undertaking the vaccination programme we may need to prioritise our services at certain times to urgent only cases.

 

The location is Bicester Heritage (Airfield)  (cars via Skimmingdish Lane ONLY – further details below)

 

Patients will be contacted by the practice to arrange their appointments by Text, Phone or Letter.  Due to the rapid changing nature of the vaccination roll-out, this may be at short notice.

Patients with a valid UK Mobile Phone number that they have registered with the Practice will be sent a text enabling them to book easily online

To be vaccinated patients will require 2 vaccinations normally 11 weeks apart.

Employers are expected to show appropriate flexibility to enable their workers to attend their vaccination appointments.

 

You are asked NOT to contact the Practice to enquire about appointments or information on the vaccine being used, as this will prevent patients with medical issues being able to contact us.  Further information and links are below.

 

As you will appreciate, the urgent need to deliver COVID-19 Vaccinations means that our normal services may need to be altered or reduced at times. We continue to be grateful for your patience and understanding with this.  Our staff have worked tirelessly in 2020 during the current pandemic to ensure that we have continued to provide our patients with the best care we can provide.  They are very grateful for the support and kind messages of support shown by everyone.

Patient Prioritisation

The Vaccine will be made available to patients in a prioritised order, which reflects the level of risk of serious complications should they get COVID-19

 

As covered in the national press, the Pfizer vaccine provides significant logistical and storage issues.  This means that currently patients need to attend the Vaccination Centre to receive their vaccination – arrangements for Care Home patients and Housebound patients are being considered by NHS England.

 

The current published Government’s priority for the vaccination is below.  Those highlighted in Green are the groups we are currently vaccinating

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality* + Unpaid Carers**
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over
  10. all those 40 years of age and over  (45-49 yrs being invited first)
  11. all those 30 years of age and over (in age order)
  12. all those 18 years of age and over

* As defined by the JCVI (this is different to those who receive the flu vaccination).

** Provisionally those in receipt of Careers Allowance or a sole carer of an elderly or disabled person who is extremely vunerable or Cohort 6.

Where we are unable to fill the available appointments, those in the next group (in Orange) may be contacted at short notice to have their vaccination.

Have we missed contacting you?

We’ve now vaccinated all care home residents that it is possible to vaccinate and we’ve attempted to contact all of our patients who are aged 50 or over, or are shilding patients over 16 yrs. However, if you – or someone you know –  in these groups ONLY does not yet have an appointment booked for a Covid-19 vaccination, then please get in touch.

Excluded Patients

Patients are currently excluded from the vaccination if:

  • they have previously had an immediate anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine (or vaccine contents)
  • at the time are suffering from acute febrile illness.
  • For the Pfizer vaccine also: if an immediate anaphylactic reaction to other medication or unexplained

Patients on anticoagulation therapy (e.g. warfarin etc) should be up to date with their INR testing and if their latest INR is below the upper threshold can have a intramuscular vaccination.

Patients are also excluded if they have taken part in a COVID-19 trial and have not been formally “unblinded”, or have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the previous 4 weeks.  Patients should not have a different vaccination within 7 days (as it is known yet whether each vaccines would reduce the effectiveness of the other).

Pregnant Women

The JCVI advice has been updated due to the evidence gained from the USA, that Pregnant women can now be vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine, in line with the the cohort they would have otherwise been invited if they were not pregnant.

Therefore for those pregant with an underlying health condition, we will contact you, or pregnant but 40 years or older, it is recommended that you discuss having the vaccination with your consultant or GP.

If you have already had a 1st vaccination and this was the AstraZeneca vaccine, then it is recommended that you continue to have the Astrazeneca as your 2nd vaccination.

See here for more details

It is anticipated that the National Booking System (NBS) for Covid vaccination will soon have the capability to make appointments for pregnant women to have Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations. If you have received notification from the NBS to allow you to book an appointment, please ensure that you have noted that you are pregnant in the on line questions and that you have been directed to a clinic providing Pfizer or Moderna only (not AstraZenica).

Attending your vaccination appointment and what to expect

  • If you feel unwell on the day, have any of the COVID symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or you have been a close contact with a COVID positive case in the 14 days prior to vaccination, then please call your GP practice to advise and cancel the appointment. DO NOT ATTEND THE VACCINATION CENTRE as you will be putting other vulnerable patients and staff at risk.
  • On arrival at Bicester Heritage Public Car Park you will be directed to the building being use as the Vaccination Centre.
  • Please only arrive at Centre 5 /10 mins before appointment.
  • When you arrive at the venue, please enter via Skimmingdish Lane  there will be marshals on site to help direct you and manage the flow of traffic. Please follow their instructions.  Please see below for further instructions
  • Only the named patient will be able to enter the building unless you need a carer to assist you. Drivers / family members will need to remain in the car.
  • You will need to wear a mask inside the venue, unless you are medically exempt. This is to help protect you, the other vulnerable patients, and staff on site.
  • On arrival you will be checked in and be pre-screened with the COVID questions and clinically assessed to ensure that you are fit and well enough to be vaccinated.
  • Please wear a T-shirt or loose clothing with easy access to vaccinate our upper arm. Please keep bags/coats to a minimum.
  • You will be asked to stay for a 15 minute observation after your vaccination. This is simply a precautionary / safety measure.
  • It is possible that you may have some mild side effects from the vaccine and more information about side effects will be shared with you during your appointment.

How to find us

Our Vaccination Centre is at Bicester Heritage.

 

Arriving by Car

 

Access is via the South Gate on Skimmindish Lane.

Post Code: OX27 8AL

See here for Google Maps Directions 

See here for “what3words”  lows.saves.swim

 

You need to approach the entrance from the Buckingham Road Roundabout  – so you TURN LEFT into the site.  When leaving you will need to TURN LEFT onto Skimmingdish Lane.

There is a patient dropping off point just inside the entrance.  (DO NOT drop off patients on the main road)

It is then a short walk (approx 150m) from the Car Park to the Vaccination Centre (VC) Building.

 

Arriving by Foot/Cycle

Access is also via the same entrance on Skiimmingdish Lane.  Please note that the footpath is on the opposite side of the road. (There is temporary traffic control to assist patients crossing the road to the entrance).

Cyclists are to follow the same route into the entrance as the cars (ie turn left in, turn left out). Cyclists must also dismount. at the entrance.

Arriving by bus

The X5 bus service passes near to the Bicester Heritage site and the stop to request is the Caverfield Turn. The X5 service runs to and from Bicester Town Centre.

Vaccine Information

Read about the approved Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

Read about the approved Astrazenica/Oxford Vaccine

Read about the approved Moderna Vaccine

Further Information

As information is changing constantly, for further information please visit the following websites

For an update on the AstraZeneca Vaccine (ref blood clots) – please see our post here from 9 April 2021.

A patient leaflet on “Vaccinations & Bloodclotting” is available here

Volunteering

If you wish to volunteer some of your time to help us run the clinics please email bicester.nhsvolunteers@nhs.net

Roles are based on guiding patients through the Vaccination Centre, helping them complete a Patient Information Form on their arrival if required and managing the car park and guiding patients from their to the Vaccination Centre.