10.1.21 MESSAGE REGARDING LETTERS TO PATIENTS REGARDING COVID VACCINE

We understand that some people (over 80) may have received an invitation for a COVID vaccine by post telling them to book online or via the 119 telephone number.  This is for vaccinating at Stevenage, the mass vaccination hub.  We did not know that these letters were being sent out and although they say they come from us, they have been sent centrally by the NHS.  If you receive a letter then it is your choice whether you book in to Stevenage, or wait until you are called for a local vaccine at Batchwood.  We just want people to be vaccinated as soon as possible.  Please do not book online unless you have received a letter and remember that wherever you choose, you will, in time, need to return to that site for your second dose of the vaccine.

We are aware that during the pandemic, all the information and leaflets we try to keep our patients up to date with is much harder to see, read and understand.  We are therefore using this area of our website to keep our patients up to date with a virtual waiting room leaflet area.

We are pleased to say that St Albans practices have joined forces to work together to deliver the vaccination programme and our site has been placed into Wave One of this programme. 

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen a frantic time of working together across our three St Albans PCNs. Abbey PCN (Maltings and Lattimore & Village Surgery), Alban Healthcare PCN (Grange Street, Midway and Parkbury House) and HLH PCN (Harvey Group Practice, Lodge Partnership and Hatfield Road Surgery) are collaborating on a town-wide project to bring the COVID vaccine to the people of St Albans and surrounds.

We shall be running the COVID vaccine clinics for the whole town out of Batchwood Hall (the nightclub) which is being made ready for this purpose. We started these vaccinations on Wednesday 16/12/20. Initially we booked two appointments for each patient but on 30th December 2020 it was announced to alter the second appointments (w/b 4.1.21) to offer further first appointments to more patients allowing a greater number of the community to receive a vaccination.  This change caused us considerable work directly before the bank holiday but it was important that we follow the government guidelines and are grateful to the understand of our patients regarding this and changing their plans and appointments for this.

Our joint, St Albans wide, working at Batchwood went well and we look forward to reaching out to all our community to support their COVID vaccinations

Please note that we have to clearly book appointments for our patients according to the Government priority listings.  Housebound and patients living in a care home will not be expected to attend Batchwood and will be covered in a different way to this programme.   

Our local federation website is kept up to date with information and the link to it is here: https://www.stahfed.co.uk/covid-vaccination-patient-info   please do keep an eye on this for further news and things really do change by the minute...  please bear with us during this challenging time.

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Due to new advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers, your second coronavirus vaccination appointment will be rescheduled, if you received your first dose in St Albans, before 31st December 2020. The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose, and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period.
www.stahfed.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guide-for-older-adults

Adult Guide to COVID-19 vaccinations

The letter and consent form being sent to patients is also copied here: National COVID invite letter COVID consent letter

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-what-to-expect-after-vaccination

What to expect after your COVID vaccine

There has been a lot of media attention regarding patients who have significant allergic reactions and the COVID vaccination.  The latest guidance is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmation-of-guidance-to-vaccination-centres-on-managing-allergic-reactions-following-covid-19-vaccination-with-the-pfizer-biontech-vaccine

so at present, we are saying that if you have a history of significant allergic reaction (e.g needing to carry an EpiPen) you should not be booked into on of our appointment slots at the present time.

We do understand that this campaign and priority order can be frustrating for many patients who want their vaccine as quickly as possible, however, we do have to stress, that we do HAVE to follow the guidelines and give this vaccination in the order as instructed.  This leaflet explains why
COVID 19 Vaccinations - why i have to wait

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/941470/PHE_11843_Covid-19_why_do_I_have_to_wait_leaflet.pdf

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